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An Introduction to 
Indian Philosophy 





First EDrrrcm-5-10.S!> 
Second Edition— 1944 
Third Edition— 1948 



1605B— Aug., 1948— C. 









Preface to the Second "Edition xvi 

Preface to the Third Edition xix 

CHAPTEE 1 *' ■ 


I. The Basic Features of Indian Philosophy 1 


1. The Nature of Philosophy. 3 

2. The Meaning and Scope of Tndian Philo- 

sophy i 

3. ' The Schools of Indian Philosophy o tj ■ 6- 
, 4. The Places of Authority and Reasoning 

in Indian Philosophy 8 

5. How the Indian Systems Gradually 

Developed 11 

6. The Common Characters of the Indian 

Systems J4T 

7. The Space-Time Background ' 24 

SSH. A Brief Sketch of the Systems 27 

^ A. The Carvaka System 27 

2. The Jaina System 29 

Jf. The Bauddha System , 33 

\A. The Nyaya System • 37 

5. The Vaisesika System 40 

6. The Sarikhya System 44 

7. Tfce Yoga System 49 
l 8. The Mvmamsa, System &1 
9. The Vedanta System 55 





I. Its Origin and Scope 63 

II. The CartPaka Epistemology 64 


1. Inference is Not Certain 65 

' 2. Testimony is Not a Safe Source of 

Knowledge 68 

t ■ 

III. Metaphysics 70 

1. The World is l^ade of Pour Elements 70 

2. Tnere is No Soul 71 

3. There is No God 72 

i c 

IV. Ethics 73 

V. Conclusion 77 


I. Introduction 83 

II. The. Jaina Theory of Knowledge 85 

1. The Nature and Kinds of Knowledge 85 

2. The Carvaka View Criticized 89 

3. The Jaina Theory of Judgment 90 

(t) Syadvada or the Theory that Every 

Judgment is Relative 90 

(«) Saptabhanginaya or the SevVm Forms ' 

of Judgment 94 


. ' » 


III. The Jaina Metaphysics 


1. Tbe Jaina Conception of Subsjance 


2. Cla83ificatijn of Substances 


3. The Soul or Jlva 


4. Tbe Inanimate SuJ)8tance6 or Ajivaa 


(t) Matter or Pudgala 


(ii) Space or Akas'a 

110 , 

(in) Time or Kala 


(iv) Dharina and Adharnia 


IV. The Jaina Ethics and Religion 


A. Bondage of the Soul 


2. Liberation 


3. Jainism as a Religion Without God 

125 % 




1. Introduction 


II. The Teachings op Buddha: The, Pour 
• Noble Troths 134 

1. Tbe Anti-Metaphysical Attitude 134 

2. Th^Firgt Noble Truth_a.bouLSilffi^ll£_ U36 

3. The Second Noble Truth abouftheTJause 

of Suffering : the Chain of Twelve 
Links 137 

4. The Third Noble Truth about tbe Cessa- 

' tion of Suffering * 141 

5. The Fourth Noble Truth about; tbe Path ' 

to Liberation ' 140 


, Page 
6. The Philosophical Implications of Buddha's 

Ethical Teachings o 15'i 
(i) The Theory of Dependent Origination 

or Conditional Existence of Things 152 

(it) TKe Theory o£»Karma 154 
(Hi) The Doctrine of Universal Change and 

Impermanence 135 
(iv) The Theory of the Non-existence of 

the Soul loG 

LI I. The Schools of Bauddha Philosophy 160 

1. The MadhyanTika School of Sunya-vada 164 

2. ' The Yogacara School of Subjective 
Idealism 169 

• 3. The Sautrantika School of Eepresenta- 

tionism 173 

4.<. The Vaibhasika School 175 

IV. The Religious Schools op Buddhism: 




I. Introduction 187 

II. The Njaya Theory ok Knowledge 195 

1. Definition and Classification of Knowledge 196 

2. Perception 199 
(i) Definition of Perception 199 

1 (ii) Classification of Perception 201 

(Hi) Extraordinary Perception* 202 

(iv) Three Modes of Perception 204 



3". "Inference 206 

(t) Definition of Inference 206 

(«) The Constituents of Inference 207 

(Hi) The Grounds of Inference 210 

(iv) The Classification of Inference 216 

<v) The Fallacies*)! Inference? 221 

4. Upamana or Comparison 225 

5. Sabda or Testimony * 227' 
(0 The Nature and Classification of 

Sabda 2i47 

(ii) The Logical Structure of a Sentence • 229 

ITT. The Nyaya Theory'* of the Phyrtoat. 

World * 2*2 

IV. The Individual Self *nd tts Liberation 233 

V. The Nyaya Theology 24(9 

1. The Idea of God 2$0 

2. Proofs for the Existence of God 242 
(/) The Causal Argument 242 

(h) The Argument from Adrsta 244 

(iii) The Argument from the Authorial- • 

tiveness of the Scriptures 247 

(iv) The Testimony of Sruti 248 

3. Anti-theistic Arguments 251 

VI. Conclusion 252 



II. The Categories 259 

1. Substance or Dravya 3-*>9 



2. Quality or Gunst '265 

3. Action or Karma 269 

4. Generality or SamQuya Q 271 
6. Particularity or Vi&sa 274 

6. Inherence or Saniavaya 275 

7. Non-existence or AbEava 277 

III. The Creation anp Debimiction of the 
World -281 

TV. Conclusion 285 



I. iNTronucnoN 291 

II. The Sankhya MsrArnYSTrs 293 

1. Theory of Causation 293 

2. Frakrti and the Gunna 29fi 

3. Purusa or the Self 303 

4. Evolution of the World 307 

r III. The S^nkhya Theoby of "Knowledge 315 

IV. The Doctrine of Liberation 322 
V. The Problem op God 328 

VT. Conclusion ,'j,-to 

(5HAPTEI5 VI 11 


I. iNiiior/ocTioN 335 

II . Yor.A Psychology 338 



111. Yoga Etjijos 342 

1. The Nature and Forms of Ydga 342 

2. ( The Eightfold Means of Yoga 347 
IV. This Place ok Gou in the Yoga 353 

IT ♦ 

V. Conclusion 357 



J . Introduction 361 

11. Thj<; Mimawsa Thbok* or KNowuiuiiB 36?. 

it Tlio Nature and Sources of Kuowledge3 63 

2. Noii-petcoptual Sources of Knowledge 365 « 

(/') Comparison 'npauiana) 36$ 

(it) Authority or Testimony (sabda) 368 

.^i'osl ulation (arthapatti) 372 

{iv) Non -perception (anupalabdhi) 374 

'6 r The Validity of Knowledge 1376 

\ -1. What is Em* ? 378 

HI. Mixiamsa Metaphysccs 380 

1. General Outlook 380 

2. The Theory of Potential Energy (sakti 

and apfirva) 382 

3. The Mhnariusii Conception of Sou! 383 
IV. MiMAfisA Religion and Ethics 387 

1. The Place of the Veda* in Religion 387 

2. The Conception of Duly * 387 

3. The Highest Good 389 

4. Is Mimathsa Atheistic ? 390 




]. Introduction 395 

1. Origin a*nd Development of the Vedanta .'JU5 

2. How the Vedanta Developed through 

the Vedas and the Upanisads 390 

.'i. The Unanimous Views of the main schools 

of the Vedanta 4J2 

U". This Monism ok Sankaka (A»vaita> 120 

1. Sankara's Conception of the World 420 
(/) The Rational Foundation of Sankara's 

Theory of the World 427 

' (?/) The Advaita Theory of Error 430 
(»'/') Criticism of Sankara's Philosophy of 

. . the World 430 

2. Sankara's Conception of God 142 
(f) The Rational Basis of Sankara's 

Theory of God 448 

>J 3.' Sankara's Conception of- the Self, Bondage 

and Liberation 452 

111. Thu Qualified Monism ok Ramanuja 

(Visistadvaita) 470 

1. Ramanuja's Conception of the World 470 

(0 Ramanuja's Criticism of the Advaita 

Theory of Illusion 473 

2 Ramanuja's Conception of God 476 

3. flamanuja's Conception of the Celf, 

Bondage and Liberation 479 

Index 489 


The object of this book is to provide a simple 
iutroduc tion to the Indian system^ of philosophy. 
Each one >of these systems has had a vast and varied 
development and cannot be treated adequately in a. brief 
work like this. Attempt has been made to introduce 
the reader to the spirit and outiook of Indian Philosophy 
and help him to grasp thoioughly the central ideas 
rather than acquaint him with minute details. Modern 
students ot philosophy feel many difficulties in under- 
standing the Indian problems and theories. *Their loiig 
experience with university studcntB has harped the 
authors to realize these, and they have tried to iemov« 
them as far as possible. This accounts for most of the 
critical discussions which could otherwise "have been 

dispensed with. 

The book has been primarily written for beginners. 
The first chapter which contains the general principles 
and basic features of Indian philosophy, as well as a 
brief sketth of each system, gives the student a bird's- 
eye view of the entire field and prepares him for a more 
intensive study of the systems which are contained in 
the following ehapteis. It is hoped, therefore, that the 
book will suit the needs of university students at differ- 
ent stageB, as well as of general readers interested in 
Indian philosophy, ft will serve the needs of B.A. 
Pass students who may be required to flave a brief 
general acquaintance with Indian philosophy as a* wh/jle, 
as well as those of Honours students who may* be 


expected to liave a more detailed knowledge*^ »n^ or 
more systems. r , ' 

It is the firm conviction of th? writers that Reality 
is many-Bided and Truth is manifold f that each system 
approaches Reality from one point of view or' level of 
experience and embodies cne ^aspect of Truth. They 
have tried to approach each system with sympathy and 
justify it, rather than dismiss it with a customary 
criticism. They believe that a sympathetic insight into 
the great systems will enable the student to grasp 
tfieir truths more easily and give him a sound 
philosophical outlook. 

While an" attempt has been made to bring out the 
significance of Indian views in terms of modern 
Westerp thought, care has always been exercised to 
'preserve their distinctive marks, such as their spiritual 
ajid practical outlook, their recognition of the different 
levels of experience. . 

The authors are grateful to Dr. Syamaprasad 
Mookerjee, M.A., D.Litt., B.L., M.L.A., Vidya- 
vaCasptij Barrister-at-Law, ex-Vicf -Chancel lor, Calcutta 
University, at whoBe suggestion the work was under- 
taken, and to Sir S. Radhakrishnan, Kt.,M.A., D.Litt., 
George V Professor of Philosophy, Calcutta University, 
Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics, 
Oxford University, who has very kindly gone through 
the manuscript and made valuable suggestions. They 
are also indebted to Professor Krishnachandra Bhafcta- 
charyya, M.A., with whom they discussed some of the 
problems frested here and received much light and 
guidance. They are grateful also to the authorities of 
the Calcutta University, and especially to the Registrar, 


the | Supjwntendent of the Press and his energetic 
colleagues, for the publication of the work. 

Nora to Htcdents 

The paragraphs which occur in small type in this 
book are meant for more advanced students and m'ay be 
omitted by beginners. The attention of students is, 
specially invited to the select bibliography given at the 
beginning of each chapter. Reference to it will explain 
the abbreviations of the names of hooks found in the 

Eor correct pronunciation **Btudents should note that 
the following scheme lias been Adopted for representing 
Sanskii't pound in English: 

«ft-<& = au. 

*=f = k, ( «(=1=kh, »T = n-S- ^^gh, *=«=n, 
*=5^=c, S=5.-ch, w = ^=j, *r=^=jh, w=^-5, 
J v -i\=t, s = i[=th, *-^b-(1. ?-u=(jh; or-ej-n, 
^-vg-t, w-^-ih, ^-vf-d, ^=!f= ( ih, ^«q- n , 
<r— *T— p, «B=**-ph. ^-s-l», *r-<o-hh, ^-^-m, 

Vx-y» l=^ = r ' «-f-'. W v ' 5T----»t-s, 
W?. w-jt-k, ^s-h. w-^-ks, ^-f.-iH 


The authors fee) encouraged by the demand for a 
second edition of this book within such a short time. 
They are grateful to the many universities which have 
- ndopted this compendium as a text-book, and to the 
many lay readers who have intimated their apprecia- 
tion of the book as a suitable introduction to Indian 
Philosophy. But at the sa?ne time the authors realize 
once more the great difficulty of compressing into such 
a volume all that is important in the arguments and 
theories of schools which have evolved through nearly 
two thousand years, and developed intricacies which 
defy easy exposition. They are, therefore, painfully 
,/iware of the many shortcomings of the book, and very 
eagerly avail themselves of this opportunity of a second 
edition to remove defects, ns far as possible, by addi- 
tion, alteration, omission and rearrangemeni of topics. 
Te this work of improvement they have received great 
help from 'ieachers and scholars who have favoured 
them with detailed opinions and suggestions. The 
authors are thankful to all of them ; but they are 
especially indebted, in this respect, to Professors 
Khagendranath Mitra, Haridas Bhnttacharyya, Jadu- 
nath Sinha, Snrendranath Goswami, Kalidas Bhatta- 
eharyya'and Mr. Anilkumar Ray Chaudhury. If some 
of the suggestions could not be carried out, it was 
mainly because of the limitation of the origmal scope 
of the book, the necessity for economizing paper, and 
the desire for avoiding difficulties that might embarrass 
the beginner. 


The SfcfJhorB do not attempt to make the book 
,a history of Indian Philosophy by adding a few more 
chapters on the VedaS, the Upanisaas and the Glta, 
for which they refer the interested reader to the more 
comprehensive and competent treatises on the subject, 
like those of Sir S. KadJlakrishnan, 'Professor S. N. 
Dasgupta and Mr. M. Eiriyanna. They confine them- 
selves to the humbler task, and the original plan", of J 
writing a short account of only the schools, and for the 
beginner. The very short treatment of the philosophy- 
of the Vedas and the Upauisads that is given in the 
chapter on the Vedanta aims enly at showing how, out 
of these, the Vedanta of Sankara and Ramanyja deve- 
loped. » It should not be taken aB a substantive account. 

The chapter on the Vedanta has been "partly 
rewritten. Sankara and Ramanuja have been deait 
with successively (and not side by side, as .before). 
Tne rational or argumentative side of the Vcdiinta 
has been substantially reinforced by the addition of 
many new paragraphs in small print. The authors 
hope that this will be useful to thi» advanced VeadeV, 
while the simplicity of the original treatment, and the 
interest of the beginner, will remain unaffected. 

It is necessary to mention that instead of following 
the ordinary translation practice of rendering 'Tsvara' 
into 'God' and 'Brahman' into 'Absolute', the authors 
have used the word 'God' al60 for 'Brahmaq.' Just 
as 'Brahman' (without adjectives) is used, even by 
the Ilpapisads and Sankara, for both the immanent, 
personal aspect, and also for the transcendent, im- 
personal aspect, similarly 'God' also* has been used'in 
English in this wide sense, and, therefore, sometimes 

C— 1605B 


for ibe Absolute (e.g. of Hegel), the Indeterminate 
Substance (e.g of Spinoza), the Primordial Principle 
(e.g. of Whitehead). The exac't sense in which 'God* 
has been used in this book will be clear from the 
context. Confinement of 'God' only to the Deity of 
Religion, and of ' Absolute ' to the ultimate philo- 
sophical principle, while convenient in one respect, 

' suffers from the disadvantage of suggesting as though 
they stand for two distinct realities, and not for two 

'aspects of the same reality, as is the case in the 


The second edition was exhausted much sooner 
than expected. The authors regret that ths third 
edition could not be brought out in time owing to 
labour unrest and other post-war difficulties in publi- 
cation, and, much to the inconvenience of students, 
the book was out of market for about two years' 
Attempt has been made iu this edition to improve the 
book by introducing minor changes and making necesB- 
ary corrections. 

The authors are grateful to those scholars who have 
appreciated the changes introduced in the 'second 
edition, and to the authorities of many universities and 
institutions in India and abroad where the .book is 
recommended for use. 


J . The Basic Features of Indian Philosophy 
1. The Nature oj Philosophy 

Like all other living beings man* struggles for 
existence. But while the lower 

.hiio»ophy eCe98ity °' bein » 8 stru Sg ,e n > ore <* !2 SS hlindl y 
without any conscious plan atid 

purpose, and work by instinct, man uses the superior 
»ift of his intellect to understand the eonilitions and 
meaning of the struggle and to devise plans and 
instruments to ensure success. He wishes to lead his 
life in the light of his knowledge of himself and the 
world, taking into 'consideration not merely the imme- 
diate results of his actions, but even their far-reaching 
consequences. Desire for knowledge springs, therefore, 
from the rational nature of man. Philosophy is an 
attempt to satisfy this very reasonable dasire. It is 
not, therefore, a mere luxury, but a necessity. As an 
eminent English writer puts it : " Man live in accord- 
ance with their philosophy of life, their conception of 
the world. Thia is true even of the moslfthoughtless. 
It is impossible to live without .a metaphy&ic.^ The 
choice that is given us is not between Borne kiad of 


metaphysics and no metaphysic ; it is always between 
a good metaphysic and a bad metaphysic." * • 

Philosophy in it-j widest etymological sense means 
'love of knowledge' It tries to 
g ineam g . jj now things that immediately and 

remotely concern man. What is the real nature of 
man? What is the end of this life? What is the 
nature of this world in which he lives? Is there any 
creator of this world? How should man live in the 
light of his knowledge of himself, the world and God ? 
These are some of the many problems, taken at 
random, which we find agitating the human mintl in 
every land, from the very dawn of civilization. Philo- 
sophy deals with problems of this 

DArsana or vision of . . . . 

tIut b. nature. As philosophy aims at 

knowledge of truth, it is termed 

in Indian literature, ' the vision of truth ' (darsana;. 

Every Indian school holds, in its own way, that there 

can be a direct realization of truth (tattva-darsana). 

In the history of European philosophy we find that as 
human knowledge about each of the 
The 'development of different problems mentioned ubove 
Western philosophy. began to grow, it became impossible 
for the same man to Btudy everything 
about every problem. Division of labour or specialization 
became necessary; and a group of men devoted them- 
selves to a particular problem or a few connected problems. 
There came into existence in this way the different special 
sciences. Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Astronomy, 
Geology and similar sciences took up each a part or aspect 
of the world of nature. Physiology, Anatomy and the 
other medical sciences devoted themselves to the different 
problems of the human body. Psychology began to study 
the problems $f the human mind. The detailed Btirdy of 
many of the particular problems with which philosophical 

1 Aldoos Huxley, Ends and Means, p. 262. 


Etpeoulatfon originally started become thus the subject- 
matter oi the special sciences. Philosophy then began to 
depend on the' reports of the investigation made by the 
different sciences., tried to understand 'ftheir meanings and 
implications critically, and utilized these results for 
understanding the general nature of the universe — man, 
nature and God. The evolution of philosophical thought 
has been more or less the^same in Europe and in India. 

European philosophy At the present day has for 
its main branches (a) Metaphysjos, 
The branches of which discusses the general problems 
Western philosophy regarding reality — man, nature and 
God, (b) Epistemology or theory^.jjf 
knowledge, which enquirer into the nature of human 
knowledge, as to how it develops and how far it is %,ble to 
grasp reality, (c) Logic, which discusses the laws of 
valid reasoning and other incidental problems^ (d) Ethics, 
which investigates the problems of morality^ such as the 
standard of moral judgment, the highest goal of human 
life and other cognate problems, and (e) Aesthetics, which 
deals with the problems of beauty. Another rec^it 
development of philosophy, called Axiology, is devoted to 
the discussion of the problem of values. Sociology is sfeo 
sometimes regarded as a branch of philosdpby and often 
discussed along with Ethics. Psychology has been 60 long 
a very .important branch of philosophy, but the tendency 
now is to treat it as one of the special sciences like Physics 
and Chemistry and give it a place independent of 
philosophy. • 

Though the basio problems of philosophy have been 

the same in the East as in the West 

The problems and and the chief solutions have striking 

methods of Indian similarities, yet the methods of 

philosophy. philosophical enquiry differ in certain 

respects and the processes of the 

development of philosophical thought also vary. Indian 

philosophy discusses the different problems of-Metaphysics, 

Ethics, Logic, Psychology and Epistemology, but generally 

it does not discuss them separately. Every problem is 

discussed by the Indian philosopher fronf all possible 

approaches, metaphysical, ethical, logical) psychological 

and epistemological. This tendency has 5 been called by 

some thinkers, like Sir B. N. Seal, (the synthetic outlook 

of Indian philosophy f 


2. The Meaning and Scope of Indian Philosophy 

Indian philosophy denotes the philosophical specu 
lations of all Indian thinkers 

h non- Hindus', theists or atheists 

' Indian philosophy ' is supposed by some to be sync 
njuiouri with ' Hindu philosophy.' This would be tru 
only if the word ' Hindu ' were taken in the geographi 
ca!. sense of ' Indian.' But if ' Hindu ' means th' 
followers of a particular religious faith known a 
Hinduism, the supposition would be wrong am 
misleading. . Even in the ancient writings of th 
orthodox Hindu pliilosophers, like the Sarva-daria.ia 
sangraha of' Madhavacarya which tries to presen 
in one place the views of all (sarva) schools of philo- 
sophy, we find in the list of philosophies (darsanas) 
the views of atheists and materialists like the Carvakas, 
and unorthodox thinkers like the Bauddha? and 
the Jainas, along with thoee of the orthodox Hindu 
thinkers. " 

Indian philosophy is marked, in this respect, by a 
striking breadth of outlook which 

In T dS: n b phi.o^ k0f on] y teBtifies to itB ^flinching 
devotion to the search for truth. 

Though there were many different schools and their 

views differed sometimes very widely, yet each Bchool 

took care to learn the views of all the others and 

did not coire to any conclusion before considering 

thoroughly what others had to say and how their 

points could be met. This spirit led to the formation 

of a method of philosophical discussion. A philosopher 


iiad firlt tc» jtate the views of his opponents before 
he formulated his own theory. This statement of 
the opponent's case cams to be know} as the prior 
view (pQrvapaksa). 'Then followed the refutation 
(khandana) of this view. Last of all came the state- 
ment and proof of the philosopher's own position, 
which, therefore, was known as the subsequent view 
(uttarapaksa) or the conclusion (siddhanta). 

This catholic spirit of treating rival positions with 
consideration was more than re- 
The consequent tbo- warded by the thoroughness and. 
Tn<li»n systems. * perfection that each philosophical 
school attained. If we open a 
comprehensive work on the Vedanta, we will find in it 
the statement of the views of all other schools, Clrvjika, 
Baiiddha, Jaina, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimaiiisa, Nyaya and 
Vaiisesika, discussed and weighed with all care ; similarly 
any - good work on the Bauddha or Jaina philosophy 
discusses the other views. Each system thus became 
encyclopaadic in its grasp of ideas. Naturally we find 
that many of the problems of contemporary Western 
philosophy are discussed in Indian systems of philo- 
sophy. Besides, we find that indigenous scholars with 
a thorough training, exclusively in Indian philosophy, 
are able to deal even with abstruse problems of Western 
philosophy with surprising skill. 

If the openness of mind — the willingness to- listen 

to what others have to 6ay — has 

its moral <for tbe been one of the chief causeB*of the 

^ure of Indian pbilo- ^^ ^ greatneB8 of • lB ^ ian 

philosophy in the past, it has a, 
definite moral for the future. If Indian philosophy is 


once more to revive and continue its »:?at career, it 
can do go ofily by taking into consideration the new 
ideas of life alid reality which have been flowing into 
Indib. from the West and the East, from the Aryan, 
the Semitic and the Mongolian sources. 
3. The Schools of Indian Philosophy 

According to a traditional principle of classification , 

most likely adopted by orthodox 

(Classification or the Hindu thinkers, the schools or 

Indian schools : ortho- , , T ,. , ., . 

dox and heterodox, systems of Indian philosophy are 

divided into two broad classes, 
namely, orthodox (astika) and heterodox (nastika). 
To .iht first group belong the six chief philosophical 
systems (popularly known as sad-dariSana) , namely, 
Mimamsa, Vedanta, Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya and 
Vaisesika. These are regarded as orthodox (astika), 
not because they believe in God, but because they 
accept the authority of the Vedas. 1 The Mimamsa 
•and * the Sankhya do not . believe in God as the 
creator of the world, yet they are called orthodox 
(astika) because they believe in the authoritativeness of 
the Vedas. The six systems mentioned above are not 
the only orthodox systems ; they are the chief ones, and 

1 In modern Indian languages, 'astika' and 'nastika' generally 
mean 'theist' and 'atheist,' respectively. But in Sanskrit philoso- 
phical literature, 'astika' means 'one who believes in the authority of 
the Veda|' or 'one who believes in life after death.' ('Nastika' means 
the opposite lif these.) The word is used here in the first Reuse. In 
(he second sense, iBven the Jaina and Banddha schools are 'astika,' aB 
dhey believe id life after death. The six orthodox schools are 'astika,' 
and the Carvaka is 'nastika' in both the senses. 


there a. v e some other less important orthodox schools, 
such as the urammarian school, the medical school, 
etc., also noticed by Madhavacarya. Undlr the other 
class of heterodox 'systems, the chief three >are 
the schools of the Materialists like the Carvakas, the 
Bauddhas and the Jainas. They are caljed heterodox 
(nastika) because they do not believe in the authority 
of the Vedas. 

To understand this more clearly, we should know 
something regarding the place of 
VedM in P lnd1an° f P b!'- e tbe Ve das in the evolution of Indian^ 
Uiaoptiy. thought. Thg, Vedas are the eailiest 

available records of Indian literature, and subseauent 
Indian thought, specially philosophical speculation, is 
greatly influenced by the Vedas, either positive^, or 
negatively. Some of the philosophical systems accept- 
ed Vedic authority, while others opposed *jL The 
Mimvhoa and the Vedanta may be regarded* as the 
direct continuation of the Vedic culture. The Vedic 
tradition had two sides, ritualistic and speculative 
(karma and jnana). The Mimamsa emphasised „ the > 
ritualistic aspect and raised a philosophy to justify and 
help the continuation of tbe Vedic rites and rituals. 
The Vedanta emphasised the speculative aspect of the 
Vedas and developed an elaborate philosophy out of 
Vedic speculations. As both these schools were direct 
continuations of Vedic culture, both are sometimes 
called by the common name, Mimamsa ; and for tbe 
sake of distinction the first is called Purva-Mlmamsa 
(or Karma-Mimaihsa) and the second Uttara s M|ifna,mBa 
(or Jfiana-MimSiiisa). But the more visual -naraSe of 
these two are Mimamsa and Vedanta respectively, and* 


we shall follow this common usage he^re. Though 
the Sarikbya, Yoga, Nyaya and v'ais'esika based 
their theories on ordinary human experience and 
re&aoDing, tbey did not challeuge the authority of the 
Vedas, but tried to show that the testimony of the 
Vedas was quite in harmony with their rationally 
established theories. The Carvaka, B&uddha and Jaina 
schools arose mainly by opposition to the Vedic culture 
and, therefore, they rejected the authority of the Vedas. 
These facts may be summed up iu a tabular form as 
follows : 

Indian scboole or philosophy 

Scbotjls rejecting Vedic Schools not rejecting Vedie 

authority '.Heterodox or authority (Orthodox or 

Nastiktt, e g. Carvaka, Sstika) 

Bauddha, Jaina) _ _J 

Schools directly based Scho >ls based on inde- 

on Vedic texts pendent grounds (« g. 

| Sankhya. Yoga, Nyaya, 

j Vaiiesikaj 

SchriOi emphasising School emphasising 

the ritualistic the speculative 

aspect of the aspect of the Veda? 

Vedas <viz, Mi- - (viz. Vedanta) 

4 The Places of Authority and Reasoning in 
Indian Philosophy 

The distinctions discussed above can be ultimate- 
l t ly traced to distinctions in the 

Ay Wmka ° f Pti " metuodB of speculation, adopted by 
j the different schools. 


Solution^ of philosophical problems, like 'What is 
• • the ultimate cause ofipthe world?'. 

Should philosophy | 

aiwajs dopena on JJoee God exist?', *'What is the 
a^i^ir^meWs nature of God?', cannot be ob- 
dopend on the ex- ained by observation. The philo- 

penence of the wise l J * 

few? ^ sopher must employ his imagina- 

tion and reasoning, and find out 
answers consistent with truths already established by 
experience. Like most other branches of knowledge, 
philosophy proceeds, therefore, from the known to the 
unknown. The foundation of philosophy is experience, 
and the chief tool used is reason. But the question 
arises here : "What experience should form the basis of 
philosophy?" Indian thinkers are not unanimous on 
this point. Some hold that philosophy should beJbased 

on ordinary, normal experience, i.e. 
The two views 

on truths discovered and accepted 

by" people in general or by scientists. This is the 

view of most modern European thinkers. In India 

the Nyaya, the Vai&sika, the Saiikhya and the Ciirvaka 

school accept this view fully ; the Bauddha arid the 

Jaina school also accept it mostly. On the other 

hand, there are thinkers who hold that regarding some 

matters, such as God, the Btate of liberation, etc., we 

cannot form any correct idea from ordinary experience ; 

philosophy must depend for these on the experience of 

those few saints, seers or prophets who have a direct 

realization (saksatkara or darsana) of such things. 

Authority, or the testimony of reliable persons and 

scriptures, thus forms the basis of philoaapBy. The 

Mimamsa and the Vedanta school follow this method. 

They base many of their theories on the Vedas and the 

2— 1605B 


Upanisads. Even the Banddba and the Jaina school 
depend sometimes on the teachings of Buddha and 
Jinas who are regarded as perfect and omniscient. 
In Europe the scholastic philosophy of the middle ages 
was based similarly on the authority of the Christian 

Reasoning is the chief instrument of speculation 

for philosophers of both these 

Whatever be. the c ] asse8 T h e difference is that 

grounds, reason u the «-*«™>~». -"-"^ umnuui.^ i° »t.»» 

instrument of philoso- while by the former reasoning is 
pmcil speculation. 
J made always to follow the lead of 

ordinary axperience, by the latter reasoning is made to 
follow !-• some matters the lead of authority, as well. 

The charge is often heard against Indian philosophy 
that its theories are not based on independent reasoning 
but on authority and, therefore, they are dogmatic, 
ratherHh&n critical. This charge is clearly not true 
of the majority of Indian systems which are as much 
based on free thinking as any we can 'find in the 
"JVest even in this modern age of critical speculation. 
The criticism may be chiefly levelled against the two 
feystems of the Mimamsa and the Vedanta which, we 
have found, give an important place to authority. 
Though these systems start from authority, the theories 
they develop are supported also by such strong indepen- 
dent arguments that even if we withdraw the support 
of authority, the theories can stand well and compare 
favourably with any theory established elsewhere on 
independent reasoning alone. Man, as a rational 
creature, cannot of course be satisfied un^ss his reason 
is satisfied. But if arguments in favour of a philosophy 
are sufficient to satisfy his reason, the additional fact 


of its* beina, based on the experiences of persons of 

clearer minds' and purer hearts will rathe* add to its 
value. *■ 

5. How the Indian Systems Gradually Developed 

In the history of European philosophy we usually 

* find the different schools coming 

of the Pa iDdi!n e Khods int o existence successively. Each 

thL th h i \ho P livisM C d sch<X)1 P redominates tiH another 
teachings of [active comes in and replaces it. In Tndia, 

on the otb«*r hand, we find that the ' 

different schools, though not originating simultaneously, 

flourish together during many centuries, 4nd pursue 

parallel courseltaf growth. The reason is to Wl sought 

perhaps in the fact that in India philosophy was a part 

of life. As each system of thought came into existence 

it was adopted as a philosophy of life by a band of 

followers who formed a school of that philosophy. 

They lived the philosophy and handed it down to 

succeeding generations of followers who were attracted 

to them through their lives and thoughts. The 

different systems of thought thus continued to exist 

through unbroken chains of successive adherents for 

centuries. Even to-day, we find the active followers 

of some of the chief philosophical schools in different 

parts of India, though development of indigenous 

philosophy has all but ceased now, owing to social and 

political vicissitudes. 

It should not be supposed, however, that the differ- 

, , V . , eat systems developed wtohin their 
Each school criticizes "' _ • . » ,,, 

and influences •every respective circles of active followers, 

other school. ■without mutually influencing fine 


another. On the contrary, as we have/ pointed out 
previously, ercb philosophy regarded it as its duty to 
consider and atisfy all possible objections that might 
be raised against it6 views. In fact it is by constant 
mutual criticism that the huge philosophical literature 
has come into existence,. Owing to this again, 
there developed a passion for clear and precise enun- 
ciation of ideas and for guarding 
' . 1 " dian . i*iio«opby statements against objections. 

is its own best critic. ° J 

Mutual criticism further makes 
Indian philosophy its own best critic. 

Bearing this fact of mptual influence in mind we may 
<-■ try to understand (he general process 

How philosophical b w hj c h the systems originated and 
l,tcr.tore d.veloped. d £ Yelopcd . Tho Vedas, we have said, 
are directly or indirectly responsible for most of Hie 
philosophical speculation. In the orthodox schools, next 
lo the Vedas and the Upanisads, we find the sutra litera- 
ture marking the definite beginning 
The Bfltra works of f 6yBiclriatic , philosophical thipk- 

the orthodox schools. J ,0-, , , _ , • n.. 

ing. 'Sutra etymologically means 

'thread,' and in this context it means a brigf mnemonic 
statement. As philosophical discussions took place 
mostly oralJy, and as they were passed down through 
oral traditions handed down by teachers to Btudents, it was 
perhaps felt necessary to link up or thread together the 
main thoughts in the minds of students by brief statements 
of problems, answers, possible objections and replies to 
them. A sutra-work consists of collection of many 
sutras or aphorisms of this kind, arranged into different 
chapters and sections according to different topics. The 
Brahma-sutra of Badarayana, for example, contains the 
aphorisms that sum up and systematize the philosophical 
teachings" of different. Vedic works, chiefly the Upanisads, 
and also briefly mention and answer actual and possible 
objections to these views. This wflrk is the first systematic 
treatise. dj> the Vedanta, Similarly, we havo for the 
Mimartea, the sutras of Jaimini, fdrlheNy ays. the satr ap of 
Gotama, Tdlj'the "Vaisesika, t)^_5uiiEas_j)f_Kanada l for Jjhe 
Ydgaj the Butras-Trf~PaTaB]a~Tr.~ According to tradition, for 


the SankhyflGalso there were the sutrns of Kapila, who is 
regarded as the founder of the system. £$ut the sutras 
how available are *not recognized by allfis the original 
sutras. The earliest systematic work available now is the 
1 ' SahTthya-karika of Tsvara Krsna. * 

The sutras were brief and, therefore, their meanings 
were not always clear, There arose 
Commentaries on tho thuB the'necessity for* elaborate enpla- 
lu rB '' ' nation and interpretation through 

commentaries. These chief commentaries on the respec- 
tive sutras were called tbe Bhasyas, the names and further 
particulars about which will be found later in the chapters 
on the different schools. But it should be noted that, in 
some cases, on the same sutra-work different authors wrote ' 
different major commentaries (uhasyas) and interpreted 
thesutraB to justify their respective standpoints. Thus 
came into existence, for example, the different Bbnsyas on 
the Brahma-sutia by Sankara, Biitniinuja, /Madhva, 
Vallabha, Nimbarka, Baladeva and others. The followers 
of each interpretation formed into a school of the^Vedfinta 
And there arose the many schools of the Vedfinta itself. 

As time went on, commentaries on commentaries arose 
and sometimes independent^ works 

nd1nde b ' C ndentw« r k e s S als0 Were written to ^PPty hand - 
an n epe en w s. ^qq^j. or ^ j UB t,ify, elaborate or criti- 
cize existing; doctrines. The philosophical literature of tbe 
orthodox schools developed in this way. Ths history of the 
development of tbe heterodox doctrines is also more^or Jess 
the same. They do not start, however, from any sutra- 
work of the above kind. The accounts of these will be 
given in the chapters dealing with those schools. 

Though the different schools were opposed to one 
another in their teachings, a sort of 

tZ he h lliZl ""The harmon y among them was also con- 

gradition of the schools ceived by the Indian thinkers, 
according to the fitness 

of follower*. They believed that all persons were 

not fit for all things and that in 

religious, 'philosophical and social matters rcte should 

take into consideration these differences ancl recognise 

consequent distinctions of natural rights ^dbikara*- 



bheda). The different philosophical di^L'iplines, as 
already points out, were taken in India as the differ- 
ent ways of sharing practical lives. Consequently, it 
was ail the more necessary to discriminate the fitness 
of their followers. The many systems of philosophy 
beginning from the materialism of the Carvaka school 
and ending with the Vedanta of Sankara were thus 
conceived to offer different paths for philosophical 
thinking and living to persons of differing qualifications 
and temperaments. But even apart from this prag- 
matic explanation, we can discover in these schools, 
outwardly opposed, many, positive points of agreement, 
which may be regarded as the common marks of 
Indian culture. 

6. Che Common Characters of the Indian Systems 

The pbiloBopby of a country is the cream of its 

culture and civilisation. It springs 

The unity of moral f rorn ideas that prevail in its atmos- 

and spiritual outlook 

among the systems. phere and bears its unconscious 

stamp. Though the different 

schools of Indian philosophy present a diversity of 

views, we can discern even in them the common 

stamp of an Indian culture. We may briefly describe 

this unity as the unity of moral and spiritual outlook. 

To understand this, let us consider 

s c ie ac ors. .^ ma j n as p ec t 8 and illustrate 

points of agreement among the different schools. 

The most striking and fundamental point of agree- 

,.< mL > t • , ment, which we have already dis- 
ci) The (practical * 

motive* present in ^11 cussed partly, isthatf all the systeme 
^" em " regard philosophy as a practical 


* v. 

necessity arid cultivate it in order to understand how 
fife can be best leu\ The aim of philosophical wisdom 
is not merely the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity, 
but mainly an enlightened life led with far-sight, 
foresight and insight. It became a custom, therefore, 
with an Tndiaa writer to explain, at the beginning of 
his work, how it serves human ends (purusartha) 

But it should also be remembered that the presence 
„ . „ , _ t of a practical motive did not narrow 

Tins does not affect x 

their theoretical deve- the scope of Indian philosophy to ' 
opmen ' Ethics and Theology alone as some 

Western critics 1 imagine. Its scope is as wide as 
any philosophy springing only from theoreticAuotives : 
and even on theoretical grounds some branches of 
Indian philosophy, like Metaphysics, Epistemology and 
Logic can easily hold their own against any system of 
tly? West. • • 

The reason why the practical motive prevails in 

Indian philosophy lies in the fact 

ufl rhiioBophy springH that pverv 8 y B t era , pro-Vedic or 

from apuitual diHquiet J r 

Rt the existing order of anti-Vedic, is moved to speculation 
things* < 

by a spiritual disquiet at the sight 

of the evils that cast a gloom over life in this world and 

it wants to understand the source of these evils and 

incidentally the nature of the universe and the meaning 

of human life, in order to find out some means for 

completely overcoming life's miseries. 

E.g., Thiliy, History of Philosophy, p. 3: * 

Stace, A Critical History of Greek Philosophy, p. If. 


The attitude of mind which looks at t&e dark side 
„ . \ of things is known as pessimism. 

Pessimism m Tndljin 

philosophy is initial, Indian philosophy has often been 
criticized as pessimistic and, there- 
fore, pernicious in its influence on practical life. How 
far this criticism is justified will be seen in the course 
of this book. But one general point should be noted 
here. Indian philosophy is pessimistic in the sense 
that it works under a sense of discomfort and disquiet 
at the existing order of things. It discovers and 
stiongly asserts that life, as it is being thoughtlessly 
led, is a rrore sport of blind impulses and unquenchable 
desires; it inevitably ends in and prolongs misery. 
But no Indian system stops with this picture of life 
as a tragedy. It perhaps possesses more than a literary 
significance that even an ancient Indian drama rarely 
ends as a tragedy. If Indian philosophy points relent- 
lessly to the miseries that we suffer through short- 
sightedness, it also discovers a message of hope. The 
essence of Buddha's enlightenment — the four noble 
truths-^-Bums up and voices the real view of every 
Indian school in this respect; namely : There is suffer- 
ing. — There is a cause of suffering. — There is cessation 
of suffering. — There is a way to attain it. Pessimism 
in the Indian systems is only initial and not final. 1 
The influence of such pessimism on life is more whole- 
some than that of uncritical optimism. An eminent 
American teacher rightly points out : "Optimism seems 
to be more immoral than Pessimism, for Pessimism 

c For a full discussion of this point, see Introduction to Prof. Kadha- 
kriehnan's Incj'.an Philosophy, Vol. I, pp. 49-50. 


warns us of danger, while Optimism luljs into false 

security." 1 

The outlook wfcich prevents the Indian mind 

«>, mi. u ,■ # ■ horn ending in despair and guaran- 

(8) The belief in an ° r ° 

'eternal moral order' tees its final optimism is what may 

in thp universe. , , • .• . . 

. be described as spiritualism after 
William James. "Spiritualism," says Jainf% 
"means the affirmation of an eternal moral order aud 
letting loose of hope." "This need of an eternal moral 
order ia one of the deepest needs of our breast. And 
those poets, like Dante and Wordsworth, who live on 
the conviction of such an order, owe to that *fact the 
extraordinary tonic and consoling power of their 
verse." 2 The faith in "an eternal moral order" 
dominates the entire history of Indian philosophy, 
barring the solitary exception of the Cfirvaka material- 
ists. It is the common atmosphere of faith in »which 
all these systems, Vedic and non-Vedic, theistic aud 
atheistic, msve and breathe. The faith in an order — a 
law that makes for regularity and righteousness and 
works in the gods, the heavenly bodies and all 

creatures — pervades the poetic 
ofZ fl fa d it 1 h Crentf0rn,8 imagination of the seers of the 

Kg-veda which calls this inviolable 
moral order Rta. 3 This idea gradually shapes itself 
(a) into the Mimiiriissi conception of apiirva, the law 
that guarantees the future enjoyment of the fruits of 
rituals performed now, (b) into the Nyaya-Vaiifesika 

1 George Herbert Palmer, Contemporary Amenatn yfiitysophy, 
Vol. I, p. 61. . 

3 Pragmatism, pp. 106-107. 
* Of. Be-veda, 1. 1. 8, 1. 23. 5, 1. 24. 9, 1. 123. 13, patty. 

3— 1606B 


theory of ad^sta, the unseen principle which sways 
even over the Yiaterial atoms and br'Mgs about objects 
and wonts in accordance with mtfral principles, and 
(o) into the general conception of karma, which is 
accepted by all Indian systems. The law of karma 
in i£s different aspects may be regarded as the law 
of the conservation of moral values, merits and 
demerits of actions. This law of conservation means 
that there is no loss of the effect of work done (krta- 
pranasa) and that tliere is no happening of events to 
a* person except as the result of his own work (akrta- 
bbyupagama). The law of karma is accepted by the 
six orth&dox schools, as well as the Jainas and the 

A*' distinguished Danish philosopher, Harald Hoff- 
iling, defines religion as "the belief in the conserva- 
tion of values. "" It is mainly such belief that raises 
Indian systems like Jainisin and Buddhism to the status 
d1' religion in spite of the absence of a belief in God. 

It ts again this faith in 'an eternal moral order,' 
which inspires optimism and makes 

..d^ThTfi'tr"' 1 " Jnau the master of hiB own destin y- 

It enables the Indian thinker to 

1 The word karmu means both tins law and alao the for<v generated 
by un id inn and having thj potency of hearing fruit. Karma in the 
second sense i* variously classified. According to one principle, kanua.s 
are broadly divided into (ui those which have not yet begun to bear fruit-, 
(anarabdha karma) and tbl those which have already begun to bear fruits 
like 1 the present body and its accompaniments >arabdha or prurabdha 
karma), /nurabdha karma again can be subdivided into tyo classes, ac- 
cording a^ 'it is accumulated from past lives (praktaua or safJcit.a kanaa) 
or is being gathered In this life (kr jauuna or saiiuiyamaua karma). 
*■ 2 Vide Merry, Philosophy of the Recent Past, j>. '206 f. u. Cf. 
Hofiding, T ie Philosophy of Religion, pp. 1-1U. 



take present ^vil as consequence of his own action, a 
hope for a better future by improving himself now. 
There is room, therefore, for free will |»ud personal 
endeavour (purusakara) . Fatalism or determinism is, 
therefore, a misrepresentation of the theory of karma. 
Fate or destiny (duiva) is nothing but the collective 
force of one's* own actions performed in past, fives 
(purva-janma-krtam karma). It can be overcome by 
efforts of this life, if they are sufficiently strong, jm>i as 
the force of old habits of this life can be counteracted 
by the cultivation of new and opposite habits. 1 

Intimately connected with this outlook is th*e 
general tendency to repaid the 

U) Thy universe as , m j verse as tlle „, >r;l | „(„„,. wherP 
the moral sta^c. ^ 

all living beings get the dress and 
the part that befit them and arc to act well to deserve 
well in future. The body, the senses and the. motor 
organs that an individual gets and the environment in 
which he finds himself are the endowments of natine 
or tlod in accordance with the inviolable law of karma. 
Another common view, held bv all Indian thinkers, 
is that ignorance of reality is (Iip 

c.2, 5f"E£,l" £ ««« ° f ™ bondage and snllering, 
knowledge is neces- am ] liberation from these cannot be 

sary for liberation. . . t 

achieved witnout knowledge of 
reality, i.e. the real nature of the world, and the self. 
By 'bondage' is commonly meant the process of biith 
and rebirth and the consequent miseries to which an 
individual is subject. 'Liberation' fmukti or moksa) 
means, therefore, the stoppage of this process. .Libera- 

1 Vide Yoga-ratistha-ramayana, 9nd 1'rakarat.ia, lih-9tl> sar^. 
for ft full discussiou. 


tion is the state of perfection ; and according to some 
Indian thinkers, like the Jainas, the Bauddhas, the 
Saiikhyas ancrthe Advaita-Vedantin^, this state can 
be attained even in this life. Perfection and real 
happiness can, therefore, be realized even here, at least 
according to these chief Indian thinkers. The 
teachings of these masters need not make us wholly 
unworldly and other-worldly. They are meant only to 
correct the one-sided emphasis on 'the here' and 'the 
now* — the short-sightedness that worldliness involves. 

Bnt while ignorance was regarded as the root 
cause of the individual's trouble and knowledge, there- 
fore, as easential, the Indian thinkers never believed 
that a mere acquaintance with 

But mere theoretical 
knowledge is not suffi- truth would at once remove imper- 
fection. Two types of discipline 
were thought necessary for making such understanding 
permanent as well as effective in life, namely, 
continued meditation on the accepted truths and 
practical life of self-control. 

T h e necessity of concentration and meditation led 

to the development of an elaborate 

<6) Continued medi- technique, fully explained in the 
tation on truths learnt _. r , , „ 

is needed to remove Yoga system. But J/000, in the 

j1lff." r00trd faUe bC ' sense of concentration through self- 
control, is not confined to that 
system only. It is found in some form or other in 
Buddhism, Jainism, the Sankhya, the Vedanta, and 
even in the Nyiiya-Vaisesika systems. The followers 
of these verious views believed, in common", that the 
philosophic truths momentarily established and under- 
stood through arguments were not enough to dispel the 


effects of opposite beliefs which have become a part of 
our being. Our ordinary wrong beliefsliave become 
deeply rooted in iA by repeated use in the different 
daily situations of lire. Our habits of thought, speech 
and action have been shaped and coloured by these 
beliefs which in turn have b^en mora and more strength- 
ened by those habits. To replace these beliefs* by 
correct ones, it is necessary to meditate on the hitter 
constantly and think over their various implications for 
life. Tn short, to instil right beliefs into our minds, we 
have to go through the same long and tedious process, 
though of a reverse kind, by which wrong beliefs were 
established in us. This required a long intellectual 
concentration on the truths learned. Without prolong- 
ed meditation the opposite beliefs cannot be removed 
and the belief in these truths cannot be steadie'd and 
established in life. 

. Self-control (saiiiyama) also is necessary for con- 
centration of the mind on these 
(7) Kolf-contioi is truths and f r rna k infJ , them effec- 

needed to remove pas- 

sions dial obstruct five in life. Socrates used # to say 

concentration and gooil 

conduct. ' virtue is knowledge.' His followers 

pointed out that mere knowledge 
of what is right does not always lead to right action-, 
because our actions are guided as much by reason as 
by blind animal impulses. Unless these impulses are 
controlled, action cannot fully follow the dictates of 
reason. This truth is recognized by all the Indian 
systems, except perhaps the Carviika. It is neatly ex- 
pressed by an oft-quoted Sanskrit saying w,hicii means: 
'I know whatfis right, but feel no inclination to follow 
it ; I know what is wrong but cannot desist \from it> 



Our speech and action cannot always follow our 
intellectual qpnviclions because of the contrary impulse? 
deeply rooted ip our character owing/o past misconcep- 
tions , about things and their values. These impulses 
are variously described by different Indian thinkers ; 
but there is a sort of unanimity that the chief impulses 
are 'iikes and. dislikes — love and hate, (raga and dvesa) . 
These are the automatic springs of action ; we m6ve 
under their influence when we act habitually without 
forethought. Our indriyas, i.e. the instruments of 
knowledge and action (namely, the mind, the senses of 
sfght, touch, smell, taste, sound, and the motor organs 
for movement, holding things, speaking, excretion and 
reproduction), have always been in the service of these 
blind impulses of love and_ hate and they have acquired 
some nxed bad habits. When philosophic knowledge 
about the real nature of things makes us give up our 
previous wrong beliefs regarding objects, our previous 
likes and dislikes for those objects have also to be given 
up. Our indriyas have to be weaned from pasi habits 
and broken to the reign of reason. This task is as 
difficult as it is important. It can be performed only 
through long, sustained practice and formation of new 
good habits. All Indian thinkers Jay much stress on 
such practice which chiefly consists of repeated efforts 
in the right direction (abhyasa). 

Self-control, then, means the control of the lower 

self, the blind, animal tendencies — 

the S t f S 0li o? P t B love and hate-as well as the in- 

lower self finder the struments of knowledge a'nd action 
control of the higher. 

' . (the indriyas). From what has been 

said above jt will be clear that self-control was not a 


mere negative practice, it was not simply checking 
the indriyas, but cocking their bad teudencies and 
habits in order td^taploy them for a better purjpose, 
and make them obey the dictates ef reason. 

It is a mistake, therefore, to think, as .some do, that 

• Indian ethics taught a rigorism" or 

It does not kill the asceticisiu which consists in killing 

natural impulses, but ,, , , . , ,° 

trains them to the the natu«d impulses in man. As 

yoke of reason. early as the Upanisads, we find 

Indian thinkers recognizing that 
though the most valuable thing in man is his spirit 
(atman), his existence as a man depends on non-spiritual 
factors as well ; that even his thinking power depends oh 
(he food he takes. This conviction never left the Indian 
thinkers ; the lower elements, for them, were not for 

destruction but fo reformation and 

MonUity is not mne- subjugation to the higher. Cessation 

lL nCB cu.u; a Uon nil "!,l ^om bad activities was eoupjj* with 

positive virtue. performance of good ones. This we 

find even in the most rigoristic 
systems, like the Yoga, where, as aids to the attainment 
nf [trifvet concentoulion (yogfinga}, we find mentioned not 
simply the negative practice oi the 'don'ts' (yamas), but 
also the positive cultivation of good habits (niyamas). 
The yamas consist of the five great efforts for abstinence 
from injury to life, falsehood, stealing, sensuous appetite 
and greed for wealth (ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacarya 
and aparigraha). These are to be cultivated along with 
the niyamas, namely, purity of body and mind, content- 
ment, fortitude, Btudy and resignation to God. Essentially 
similar teachings we find as much in the other orthodox 
schools as in JJuddhism and Jainism which, 1 like the Yoga, 
recommend, for example, the cultivation of love (maitri) 
and kindness (karuna) along with non-violence ( 
Thiit the action of the indriyas is not to be suppressed, 
but only to be turned to the service of the higher self, is 
also the teaching of the Glta, as would appear from the 
following: "One who has controlled himself, attains 
contentment by enjoying objects through *the indriyas 
which have bfien freed from the influence of love and 
hate." 1 

1 Bbagavadglta, 2. 64. 


Lastly, all Indian systems, except the Oarvaka, 

(f ) Belief in tut pos- accept the idea (^liberation as the 

sibility of liberation is highest end or" life. The concep- 

common to all systems. ° c 

Liberation is regarded tion of liberation received, of course, 

as the highest good. . . 

slightly different meanings. All 
negatively agreed that the state of liberation is a total 
destruction of sufferings which life in this world brings 
about. A few went a little beyond this to hold that 
liberation or the state of perfection is not simply nega- 
tion of pain, but is a state of positive bliss. The 
Mhnaihsa,, Vedanta and Jama thinkers belong to this 
latter group, and even the Bauddhas, according to 
some. ., 

7. The Space-Time Background 

In addition to the unity of moral and spiritual 
outlook described above, we may 

The idfa of the vast- J 

ness of tin- world of also note the prevailing sens« of 

Space and Time form- ,, ,. ,, ,. 

ed the common back- Me vastness ol the spiice-time 
ground of rndi«n WOfU whic]l f orrae d the common 


background of Indian thought and 
influenced its moral and metaphysical outlook. 

The Western belief that the world was created six 
thousand and odd years ' ago and 

<£$& o? io K M for the p ur p° se »t *™° ™™«- 

and Hpa«: as incon- luted a narrowness of outlook and 
ceiviihly vast entities. 

exaggerated the importance of man. 

This belief has been shaken by the biological dis- 
coveries of Darwin and others who show that the 
evolution of'living beings has to be conceived in terms 
of millions of years, not thousands. The science of 
astronomy/, again, is gradually generating the belief 


in the vastrfels of the universe, the diameter of which 
i# "at least hundreds of millions of ^?ght-years."* 
The sun in this ^dculation is a mere* speck in the 
universe, and the earth is less than one-millionth part 
of this speck. And we are reminded that each faint 
speck of nebula observable in* the sky contains "master 
enough for the creation of perhaps a thousand million 
suns like ours." 2 

Our imagination feels staggered in its attempt to 
grasp the vastness of the space- 

Indfw SS^S" " time UQ) ' Ver8e reVea,ed ^ 8cienC ^ 
A similar feeling is caused by the 

accounts of creation given in some of the Euranas, 
which would, but for modern discoveries, be laughed at 
as pure fantasy. In the Visnu-Purana, 3 for example, 
we come across the popular Indian conception of the 
world (brahmanda) which contains the fourteen vegions 
(lok'as) of which the earth (bhutala) is only one, and 
which are .separated from one another by tens of 
millions (kotis) of yojanas, and again the infinite uni- 
verse is conceived as containing thousands of millions 
of such worlds (brahmandas). 

As to the description of the vastness of time, we 
find that the Indian thinker, like the modern scientist, 
feels unable to describe it by common human units. 
The unit adopted for the measurement of cosmic time 
is a day of the creator Brahma. Each day of the 

1 Sir J. H. Jeans, in Nature, 26-2-27. A light-year = the distance 
travelled by light in a year, at the rate of 186,825 miles per 
second = 60 X 60 X2*X 365X186,326 uiileB= 5,875,945,200,000 miles. , 

* Ibid, (quoted in Everyday Science, by L. M. PawonsJ^pp. 14-15).* 

8 Part 2, Chap. 7. , 

4— 1606B 


creator is equal to 1,000 yugas or 432 rriillion^ears 

of men. TmY is the duration of 4°e period of each 

creation of cosmos. The nigh^of the creator is 

cessation of creative activity and means destruction or 

chaos. Such alternating days and nights, creation and 
destruction (si'sti and pruiaya), form a beginningless 

It is not possible to ascertain the first beginning of 
creation. It would be arbitrary to think that creation 
be^an at first at some particular time and not earlier. 
A"a there are no data for fixing the first beginning of the 
universe, .Indian thinkers, in general, look upon the 
universe as beginningless tenadi). They try to explain 
the beginning of the present creation by reference to 
previous states of dissolution and creation and think 
it idle and meaningless to enquire about the first 
creation. Any term of a beginni unless series can only 
be said to be earlier or later in relation to others ; 
there if nothing like an absolute first tern in such ;i 


With this overwhelming idea of the vast universe at 
its background, Indian thought naturally harped on the 
extreme smallness of the earth, the tvansitoriness 
of earthly existence and the insignificance of earthly 
possessions. If the earth wps a mere point in the vast 
space, life was a mere ripple in the ocean of time. 
Myriads of them come and go, and matter very little to 
the universe as a whole. Even the best civilization 
evolved through centuries is nothing very uni-jue ; there 
is not-one golden age only in the life of, the earth. In 
the begiiyiingless cycles of creation and dissolution 
there haye been numberless golden ages as well as iron 


ones. Progperity and adversity, civilization and 
barbarity rise and fall, as the wheel of tirjje turns and 
moves on. 

The general influence of this outlook on meta- 
physics has been to regard the present world as the 
outcome of a past one and explain the former partly by 
reference to trie latter. Besides it set metaphysics on 
the search for the eternal. On the ethical and religious 
side, it helped the Indian mind to take a wider and 
detached view of life, prevented it from the morbid 
desire to cling to the llaeting as the everlasting and 
persuaded it always to have an eye on what was of 
lasting, rather than of momentary, value. 

II. A Brief Skktch of the Systems 
1. The Garealiu System 

In Indian philosophy the word Tarvaka' moans 
a materialist The Cfirvakas hold that perception is 
the only valid source of knowledge. They point out 
that all non-perceptual or indirect sources of knowledge 
like inference, the testimony of other persons, otc, are 
unreliable and often prove misleading. We should nol, 
therefore, believe in anything except what is imme- 
diately known through perception. 

Perception reveals to us only the material world, 
composed of the four bhutas or elements of matter, 
viz. air, fire, water and earth, the existence of which 
we cati' directly know through the senses. All objects 
of this perceptible world are composed of the^e ele- 
ments. There is no evidence that there is anything 
like an immaterial soul in man. Man too is made 


wholly of matter. We say 'I am stout,' .'I am lean,' 
'I am lame.' These judgments also tend to shov 
that the individual is identic*/, with the body. 
There is of course consciousness in man, but con- 
sciousness is a quality of the living body, which 
is a product of matter. It should not be thought 
that because the elements of matter are unconscious, 
there can be no consciousness in objects made of 
them. There are many examples in which qualities 
originally absent in the component parts are developed 
when the parts are combined together in a particular 
way. There are examples even of the same substance 
acquiring' new qualities under different conditions. 
Betel leaf, nut and lime chewed together acquire a red 
tinge originally absent in any of the constituents; 
molasses acquires by fermentation the power of intoxi- 
cation originally absent. Similarly, the elements of 
matter combined together in a particular way give rise 
to the living body having consciousness. Conscious- 
ness ceases apparently with the body. When man dies 
nothing is left of him to enjoy or suffer the conse- 
quences of his actions hereafter. 

The survival of man in any form after death is, 
therefore, unproved. The existence of God also is a 
myth. God cannot be perceived. The world is made 
by the automatic combination of the material elements 
and not by God. It is foolish, therefore, to perform 
any religious rite either for enjoying happiness after 
tfaiB life in heaven or for pleasing God. No faith 
should be put in the Vedas or in the cunning priests 
who earn their livelihood by exploiting the credulity 
o'f men. f 


The high§st end of life, for a rational man, should, 
therefore, be the enjoyment of the greatest amount of 
pleasure here in th& life, of which alone we are sure. 
It is foolish to forgorae pleasures of life simply because 
they happen to be mixed with pain. It would be as 
though one were to reject the kernel because of its busk 
or cease sowing crops for fear of cattle. We should try 
to get the best out of this life by enjoing it as best as we 
can and avoiding as far as possible the chances of pain. 

2. The Jaina System 

The origin of the Jaina faith lies far back in the 
prehistoric times. The long line of teacher8 through 
whom the faith waB handed down consists of twenty- 
four TJrthankaras or liberated propagators of the faith, 
the last of whom was Vardhamiina (also styledMaha- 
vlra), a contemporary of Gautama Buddha. 

TJ_ie__Jain_as reject the Carvaka view that jferceptior^ 
is tho only valid source of knowledge. They point out 
that if we are to reject altogether the possibility of 
obtaining correct knowledge through inference asd the 
testimony of other persons because sometimes they 
prove misleading, we should doubt th e validity of J>e?-^ 
ception also, beacause evon perception sometimes proves 
illusory. In fact, the Carvakas themselves take the 
help of inference when by observing some cases of 
inference to be misleading they come to hold that all 
^infer ence is invalid, and also when they deny the 
existence of objects because they are not perceived. 
The Jaina's admit, in addition to perceptiop, reference 
and |testimony as sources of valid knowledge. Infer- 
ence yields "valid knowledge when it obeys \he logical 


rules of correctness. Testimony is valid twjien it is the 
report of a reliable authority. In fact, the Jainas hctfd 
that it is on the authority of tjrj teachings of the 
omniscient liberated saints (Jiuas or TIrthankaras) 
that we can have unerring knowledge about certain 
spiritual matters, which our limited sense-perception 
an'J reasoning cannot reveal to as. 

On the basis of these three kinds of knowledge, 
the Jainas form their view of the universe. Perception 
reveals the reality of material substances, composed of 
the four kinds of elements, as the Carvakas hold. By 
inference they come to believe in space (akasa) , because 
material* Bubstances must exist somewhere, believe 
in time' (kala), because changes or succession of the 
states of substances cannot be understood without it, 
and believe also in the two causes of motion and rqst 
respectively, for without them movement and cessation 
of movement in things cannot be explained. These 
last two are called respectively dbarma and adharma 
which should not be taken here in their ordinary moral 
sense, but in the technical sense of the causes of 
motion and rest. But the physical world, consisting 
of the four elements of matter, space, time, dharma 
and adharma, is not all. Perception, as well as 
inference, proves the existence of souls in all living 
bodies. When we perceive the qualities of an orange 
such as its colour, shape, smell, we say we perceive 
the existence of the orange. On similar grounds, 
when we internally perceive pleasure, pain and other 
qualities of the soul, we should admit that the soul also 
is directly known through perception. ' Consciousness 
uannot bu said to be the product of matter ; the 


Carvakas cannot point out any case where the combi- 
nation of materia] uibfltances is perceiveu ,, tc generate 
consciousness. The^xistence of the soul can also be 
inferred on the ground that if there bad been no 
conscious agent to guide them, material substances 
could not be formed into living bodies by themselves. 
Without a conscious substance to regulate them the 
body and the senses could not do their work so sys- 

There are, then, as many souls as there are living 
bodies. There are souls, the Jamas hold, not only ii? 
animals, but also in plants and even in particles of 
dust. The existence of very minute living, beings 
(such as germs) in dust and other apparently non- 
living material things is also admitted by ifibdern 
science. All souls are not equally conscious. Sorife, 
like those in plants or dust-bodies, have only the^sense 
of touch and have tactual consciousness alone. Some 
lower animals have two senses, others three, still others 
four. Man and some higher animals have five Fenses 
through all of which they know things. But, b°vVever 
developed the senses may be, the soul living in the 
body is limited in knowledge; it is limited in power 
also and is subject to all kiuds of miseries. 

But every soul ig jrapable of attaining infinite ont]. 
scious ness. power and hiippipttss. These qualities are 
in herent in the very nature of the soul. They are 
obstructed by karmas , just as the natural light of the 
sun is ob/tmcted by clouds. The karmas ,or the 
forces of passiqns and desires in the soul a'ttraci to it 
particles of matter which permeate the sopl just a1> 
particles of dust permeate the light of any flame or the 


sun. In a word, the karmas lead to tne" bondage of 
t he soul bvy natigr. By removingi karinas a soul can 
remove bondage and regain its. natural perfections. 

The teachings and lives of the liberated saints 
(Tlrthankaras) prove the possibili ty of liberation and 
show also the> path to bfe followed for the purpose. 
Three things are necessary for the removal of bon- 
dage, viz. perfect faith in the teachings of the Jaina 
teachers, correct knowledge of the teachings, and right 
conduct. Right conduct consists in the practice of 
abstinence from all injury to life, from falsehood, from 
stealing, from sensuality and from attachment to sense 
objects. ' By the joint culture of right faith, right 
knowledge and right conduct the passions are controlled 
and the karmas that fetter the soul to matter are 
removed. The obstacles being removed, the soul 
attains its natural perfection — infinite faith, 
infinite knowledge, infinite power and infinite bliss. 
This is the state of liberation. 

The Jajnas do not believe in God. The Tlrthati- 
karag, to whom all the godly powers like omniscience 
and omnipotence belong, take the place of God. They 
are adored as ideals of life. 

Sympathy for all living beings is one of the chief 
features of the Jaina faith. Coupled with this there 
is, in Jaina philosophy, respect for all opinions. The 
Jaina philosophers point out that every object has infinite 
aspects, judged by what it is and what it is not from 
different points of view. Every judgment that we 
ordinarily ^pass about a thing is, therefore, true only in 
relation to a particular aspect of the thing seen from a 
particular point of view. We should remember, there- 


fore, the •lTraited nature o{» our knowledge and judg- 
ment, and should refrain from thinking T hat any view 
is the whole trutu^bout any thing. We should guard 
853"^ua1(iiy^our own statement s_and also learn to 
appreciate the possibility .of the correctness of others' 

The Jaina philosophy is a kind of realism , because 
it asserts the reality of the external world, and it is, 
pluralism , because it believes in many ultimate rea lities. ' 
It is atheism as it rejects the existence of God. 

3. The Bauddha System 

The Bauddha system of philosophy aros,e out of 
the teachings of Gautama Buddha, the well-known 
founder of Buddhism. Gautama wa9 awakened to 
a consciousness of sorrow by the sight of disease, 
old a«e, death and other miseries, to which man is 
subject. He spent years in study, penance and 
meditation to discover the origin of human sufferings 
and the means to overcome them. At last he received 
enlightenment, the result of which was set forth by 
him in the form of what has come to be known as 
'the four noble truths' (catvari arya-satyani). These 
are — the truth that there is misery, the truth that there 
is a cause of misery, the truth that there is cessation 
of misery and the truth that there is a path leading to 
the cesfation of misery. 

The first truth about the existence of misery is 
admitted by all in Borne form or other. But with his 
penetrating insight Buddha saw that misery is not 
simply casual ; it is universally present in all fauna 
of existence and in all kinds of experience. Even 



what appears as pleasant js really a souros of pain 
at bottom. v . <■» f 

Regarding the second truth, Bjjudaa's conclusion 
is deduced from his analysis of causation. He points 
out that the existence of everything in the world, 
mUer^al and mental, is caused by some other thing. 
There is nothing which is unconditional aod self- 
existent. Nothing is, therefore, permanent in the 
world. All ' things are subject to change. Our 
sufferings are similarly caused by some conditions. 
Sufferings depend on birtl^ iujhiajgorld. Birth_again 
is caused by our desir e (tanha or trsna) for the worldly 
objects. The force of desires drags us down to the 
world. But our jlesirgg. can be traced ultimately to 
our ignorance. If we had a correct knowledge of 
the things of the world, understood their transitory 
and painful nature, there would be no desire for them; 
birth would then cease and along with it also misery. 

. As suffering, like other things, depends on some 
conditions, it must cease when these conditions 
are removed. This is the third truth about cessation 
of misery. 

The fourth troth about the path that leads to t he 
cessatio n of misery concerns the control of the con di- 
tions that cause misery. This path is known as the 
eight-fold noble path as it consists of eight steps, 
namely, right views, right determination, ri ght speech, 
righ^conduct, right livelihood, right endeavour, right 
mindfulness and right concentration. These eight 
steps remove ignorance and desire, enlighten the mind 
and bring about perfect equanimity and tranquillity. 
T^ius misery ceases completely and the chauce of 


rebirth bIbo, is stopped. The attainment of this state of 
i perfection is nirvana. v> - 

The teachings oi Buddha are. contained in the four 
noble truths described above. It will appear from 
this that Buadha 'himself was not concerned so much 
with the problems of philosophy as with the practical 
problem- how human misery "can tfe r emovedt He 
regarded i t as a waste of time to discuss metaphysic al 
problems, while man is writhing in misery. But 
though averse to theoretical speculatiorThe could not 
avoid philosophical discussions altogether. Thus we 
find from early literature the following theories 
among his teachings: (a) AH things are c onditional ; 
there is nothin g that exi sts by itself, (b) AllJ.hings are, 
therefore, subject to change, owing to the change of 
the conditions on which they depend ; eothing is 
permanent, (c) There is, therefore, neither any soul 
nor God nor any other permanent substance. (£) There 
is, however, continuity of the present life which 
generates another life, by the law of karma, just 
as a tree generates another tree through its seed, and 
the second continues while the first with ers avfl ty. L- 

The later followers of Buddha, in India and outside, 
developed the germs of philosophical theories contained 
in Buddha's teachings, and many school* thus came 
into existence. Of these the four that became raopt 
well-known ' in Indian philosophy may be mentioned 

The Madhyamika or Silnyavida, School.-~ Accord- 
ing to Jhis, the world is unreal .(sunya) ; mental and 
non-mental phenomena are all illusory.* Thjs view, is 
known as nihilism (sunyavada). ' • 


The Yogdcara or VijMnavada School — •This boldB 
that external objects are unreal. What appears as 
external is ready an idea in the mind. Bat mind 
must be admitted to be real. It io self-contradictory 
to say that the mind is unreal; for, then, the very 
thought that., m ind is unreal stands self-conde mned, 
thoug ht being an activity of the mind. .This view is 
called subjective idealism (vijfianavada). 

The Sautrdntika School. — This holds that both 
the mental and the non-mental are real. If every- 
thing that we perceive as external were unreal , then 
oar- perception of an object would not depend on any- 
thing outside the mind, but absolutely on the mind. 
But we firrd that the mind cannot perceive any object, 
like a tiger, at any place it likes. This proves that the 
idea of -mie tiger, when we perceive it, depends on a 
non-mental reality, the tiger. From the perceptual 
idea or representation of a tiger in the mind we can 
infer the existence of its cause, the tiger, outside 
the mind. Thus external objects can be inferred to 
exist outside the mind. This view may be called 
represeriiationism, or theory of the inferability of 
external objects (bahyanumeya-vada) . 

The Vaibhdsika School. — This school agrees with 
the last on the point that both internal and external 
objects are real. But it differs from it regarding the 
way external objects are known. External objects, 
according to the Yaibhasikas, are directly perceived 
and not inferred from their ideas or representations in 
the mind. For, if no external object we,re ever 
perceived^ corresponding to any idea, it would not be 
possible to infer the existence of an external object 


from any idea. This view may be called direct 
real^m, because it holds that external objects are 
perceived directly (bahya-pratyaksa-vada). 

BuldbistD is divideO, on religious matters, into the 
two well-known schools, Hinayana, flourishing now in 
the south, in Ceylon, Burma and Stain, and Mahayina, 
found now in the worth, in Tibet, Chioa and Japan.* 
The first two of the four philosophical schools 
mentioned above come under the Mahayana and the 
laBt two under the Hinayana. The most important 
religious question on which these two scbools differ is : 
What is the object of nirvana ? The Hinayana holds 
that nirvana should be sought fo order that the 
individual may put an end to his own misery. • The 
Mahayana thinks, on the other hand, that the object 
of nirvana is not to put an end to one's 'own 
misery, but to obtain perfect wisdom with which the 
liberated can try for the salvation of all beipgs. in 

4. The Nydya System 

The Nyaya system iB the work of the great sage 
Gotama. It ib a realistic philosophy based mainly on 
logical grounds. It admits four separate sources of 
true knowledge, viz. perception (pratyaksa), inference 
(anumana), comparison (upatnana) and testimony 
(sabda). Perception is the direct knowledge of objects 
produced by their relation to our senses. It may be 
external (bahya) or internal (antara), according as the 
sense concerned is external, like the eye and the, ear, 
or internal, like |jhe mind (manaa), Inference is*the 
knowledge of objects, not through perception, but ' 


through the apprehension of some mark (linga) which 
ib invariably related to the inferred objects (sadhya). 
The invariable relation between the two is called 
vyapti. In inference there are at least three proposi- 
tions and at most three terms, viz. the piksa or minor 
term about which we infer something, the sadhya or 
major term which is the iuferred objeqt, and the linga 
or sadhana or middle term which is invariably related 
to the major, and is present in the minor. To illus- 
trate : " The hill is fiery, because it smokes ; and 
whatever smokes is fiery. 'X Comparison is the know- 
ledge of the relation between a name and things so 
named, on the basis' of a given description of their 
similarity to some familiar object. A man is told that 
a gavaya is like a cow. Then he finds an animal in 
the -forest, which strikingly resembles the cow, and 
concludes that this animal must b* a gavaya. Such 
knowledge is derived from upamana or comparison./ 
Sabda or testimony is the knowledge about unperceived 
objects derived from the statements of authoritative 
persons. A scientist tells us that water is a compound 
of 'hydrogen and oxygen in a certain proportion. 
Although we have not ourselves demostrated the truth 
we know it on the authority of the scientist. Here 
our knowledge is derived from sabda or testimony. All 
other sources of knowledge have been reduced by the 
Naiyayjka6 to these four. 

The. objects of knowledge, according to the Nyaya, 
are the self, the body, the sensed and their objects, 
cognition (buddbij, mind (manasy, activity (pravrtti), 
mental defects (dosa), rebirth (pretyabhaba), the feel- 
ings of pleasure and pain (phala), suffering (dnhkba), 


and, freedom from Buffering (apavarga). The Nyaya, 
like many other systems of Indian philosophy, seeks 
to deliver the self from its bondage to the body, the 
senses and their objects. According to it, the self is 
distinct from the body and the mind. The body is 
only a composite substance mad% of matter.* The mind; 
(manas) is a subtle, indivisible and eternal substance 
(ami). It serves the soul as an instrument for tbe 
perception of psychic qualities like pleasure, pain, etc. 
It is, therefore, called an internal sense. The self 
(atmau) is another substance whicL ie quite distinct , 
from the mind and the body. It acquires the attribute 
of consciousness when it is related to any object 
through the senees. But consciousness is not an 
essential quality of tbe sell'. It is an accidental or 
adventitious quality which ceases to qualify the self in 
the state of mukti or liberation. While tbe mind 
(manas) is infinitesimal like an atom, the self* is 'ail- 
pervading ibibhu), indestructible and eternal. It is an 
agent which likes and dislikes objects and tries to 
obtain or avoid them and enjoys or suffers the conse- 
quences of its actions. It is ignorance of the truth 
(mithya-jilana) and the consequent faults of desire, 
aversion and infatuation (raga, dvesa, and moba) 
that impel the self to act for good and bad ends and 
plunge it into the world of sin and suffering, birth and 
death. Liberation, 'apavarga) means the absolute 
cessa tion of all pain and suffering owing to the ri ght 
k nowledge of reality (tattva-jnana). Some people 
think that \i is a state of happiness. But this is 
entirely wrong,* for there is no pleasure wit*hout 
pain, just as there is no light without shade. So ' 


liberation is only release. from pain ana aot pleasure or 

The existenoe of God is proved by the Naiyayikas 
by several arguments. God is the ulimate cause of 
the creation, maintenance and destruction of the world. 
He did not, create the world out of nothing, but out of 
eternal atoms, space, time, ether, c minda and souls 
This world has been created in order that individual 
souls (jivas) might enjoy pleasure or suffer pain accord- 
ing to the merit or demerit of their actions in other 
lives and in other worlds. The moBt popular argument 
for God's existence js: " All things of the world like 
mountains and seas, the sun and the moon, are effects, 
because tbey are made up of parts. Therefore, they 
must have a maker (karta)." The individual selves 
cannot be the maker or creator of the world, because 
they are limited iu power and knowledge, and so can- 
not deal with such subtle and imperceptible entities 
as atoms, of which all physical things are composed. 
The creator of the world must be an intelligent spirit 
with unlimited power and wisdom, and capable of 
maintaining the moral order of the universe. God 
created the world not for any end of His own, but for 
the good of all living beings. This, however, doea 
not mean that there must be only happiness and no 
misery in the world. If individual selves have any 
freedom of will in them, they would act for good or bad 
ends and thereby bring happiness or misery on them- 
selves. But under the loving care and wise guidance 
of tbe Divine Being, all individuals can sooner or later 
attain right knowledge about themselves and the world, 


and thereby final release from all suffering (mqkti). 


•5. The Vateesika System 

The Vaisesika 'system was founded by the sage 

Kanada also named Uluka. It is allied to the Nyaya 

--— -. * — 

system and has the same end in view, namely, the libera- 
tion of the individual self. It bniigaja,]! obiects^of Jfnpw/- 
ledge, i.e. the whole world, under the seven categories, 
substance (dravya), quality^ (guna), action (karma), 
generality (samanya), particularity (vi^esa), the relation 
of inherence (samavaya), and non-existence (abhaba). 

A substance is the__Pubstrat' , m_oJLqualitiesand N 
activities, but is different from both. There ar e nine 

kinds of substances"/ via. earth, water, fire, air, ether 
(akasa), time, space, soul and jpintl (manas). Of 
these, the first five are' called the ph ysical element s 
(bhutae) and have respectively the sp ecific q uali ties. o f 
smell, taste, colour, touch and sound. The first four 
are composed or the four kinds of atoms (of earth, 
water, fire and air) which are invisibl e and inde- 
structible particles of matter. .- The ato ms are uncreated 
and eternal entities which we get by resolving any 
material object into smaller and smaller parts till we 
come to such as cannot be further divided.. /Sk3ia, 
space and time are imperceptible substances, each of 
which is one, eternal and all-pervading. The mind 
(manas) is an eternal substance which is not all- 
pervading, but infinitely small like an atom. It is the 
internal sense which is directly or indirectly concerned 
in all psychical functions like cognition, feeling and 
willing. The mind being atomic we cannot .hate more 
than one experience at one instant of time. The soul 
is an eternal and all-pervading substance which is the* 



substratum of the phenomena of consciousness. The 
individual soul is perceived internally by the mind' of 
the individual as when one says ' I am happy.' The 
supreme soul or God is inferred as the creator of the 
world of effects. God creates the world out of eternal 
atoms. The^compoBitioifc and decomposition of atoms 
explain the origin and destruction 6f the composite 
objects of the world. But the atoms cannot move 
and act by themselves. The ultimate source of their 
actions is to be found in the will of God, who directs 
their operations according to the law of karma. The 
atoms aie made to compose a world that befits the 
unseen moral deserts (adrsta) of individual souls and 
serves the purpose of moral dispensation. This is the atomic 
theory of the Vai£esikas. It is rather teleological than 
mechanistic and materialistic like other atomic theories. 
A quality is that which exists in a substance and 
has itself no quality or activity. While a substance 
can exist by itself, a quality cannot exist unless it be 
in some substance. There is no activity or movement 
in tlje qualities of things. There are altogether twenty- 
four kinds of qualities, viz. colour, taste, smell, touch, 
sound, number, magnitude, distinctness (prthaktva), con- 
junction (samyoga), disjunction (vibhaga), remoteness 
(paratva), nearness (aparatva), fluidity (dravatva). viscid- 
ity (sneha), cognition (buddhi), pleasure, pain, desire, 
aversion, striving fprayatna) , heaviness (guru tva) .tenden- 
cy (samskara), merit (dharma; and demerit (adharma). 1 

1 ' Paratva ' stands for both remoteness in space an<\ remoteness in 
time and % aparatva ' for nearness both in space and time. 'Samskara' 
really steDds for three qualities, viz. wloeity, elasticity and memory- 
impression, ( 


An actidh is a move ment ^ Li ke quality , it b elongs 
only tOBubBtanceS;* There arejiyejunjjsof action, viz. 
throwing ^upj^ard (utksepana), throwing downward 
(avaksepana), contraction (akuficaha)r expansion 
(prasarana) , and going (gamana),^/ 

All cows have in IBem a certain common naturejpr 
which th^I&r^jjrouped into one class and excluded, 
from other classes. This is called ' gotva ' or cownesw 
and is the eaTnanya or universal in them. Since cow- 
ness is not generated by the birth of any cow nor 
destroyed by the death of an;,, it is eternal. A^ 
universal is thus the eternal essence common to all the 
individuals of a class. 

Particularity (visesa) is the ground of the ultimate 
differences of things. Ordinarily, we distinguish one 
thing from another by the peculiarities of its parts and 
other qualities. But how are we to distinguish the 
ultimate simple and eternal substances of tKe world, 
like two atoms of earth ? There must be some ultimate 
difference or peculiarity in each. of them, otherwise they 
would not be different, both having all the qualities of 
earth. Particularity stands for the peculiarity or indivi- 
duality of the eternal entities of the world. It is the 
special treatment of this category of viSesa that explains 
the name ' Vaisesika ' given to this system of phi- 

Inherence (samavaya) is the permanent or eternal 
relation by which a whole is in its parts, a quality or 
an action is in a substance, the universal is in the 
particulars'. The cloth as one whole always Sxists in 
the threads, qualities like ' green,' ' sweet ' and 
' fragrant, * and motions of different kinds' abide in 


some substances. Cowness as a universal^ in all cows. 
This permanent relation between <tbe whole and its 
parts, between the universal and its individuals, and 
between qualities or actions and their substances, is 
known as samavaya or inherence.., ' 

. Non-existence (abbavsP) stands for all negative facts. 

'There is no snake here,' 'that rose is not red,' 'there 

is no smell in pure water' are propositions which 

express respectively the non-existence of the snake, 

redness and smell in certain things. All such caseB 

of non-existence are brought under the category of 

gbhava. It is of four kinds, namely, pragabbava, 

dhvarhsabhava, atyantabhava (these three being put 

together under saihsargabhava or the absence of a 

relation between two entities), and anyonyabhava* 

The first means the non-existence of a thing before 

(prakj its production, e.g. the non-existence of a pot 

in clay before it is produced by the potter. The second 

is the non-existence of a thing after its destruction 

(dhvamsa), e.g. the non-existence of the pot when it 

ib broken up. The third is the absence of a relation 

between two things for all time — past, present and 

future, e.g. the non-existence of colour in the air. 

The last kind represents the difference of one thing 

from another. When two things (say a jar and a cloth) 

differ friin each other, there is the non-existence of 

either as the other. The jar is not the cloth, nor is 

the cloth the jar. This mutual non-existence of two 

different things is called anyonyabbava. 

Witii regard to Qod and the liberatibn of the 
individual soul the. Vaisesika theory is substantially the 
same as that of the Nyaya. 


The Sankhya System 
Th e Sankhy a is a philosophy of duaJistic realism, 
attributed to the sage Kapila. It admits two ultimate 
realities, namely, piirusalffi d prakrti, which' are inde- 
pendent of each pther in rgspect of th^ir existence. 
The purusa is. at intelligent principle, of which con- 
sciousness (caitanya) is not an attribute, but the "very 
essence. It is the self which is quite distinct from the 
body, the senses and the mind (manas). It is beyond 
the whole world of objects, and is the eternal conscious- 
ness which jvitnesses t he changes and activities go ing 
on in the world, but does not itself act and change in 
any way. Physical things like c hairs , l eds, etfc. e xist 
for the enjoyment" of beings other than them selves. 
Therefore, there must be the purusaor the self which 
is dist inct from prakrti o r primary matt er, bufc_is the 
enjoyer (bhokta) of th e prod ucts of prakrti. There are 
many different selves related to differe nt bodies, f or 
when so me men a re happy, others are_ unhajmy, some 
die but others live^ v ^ * ~ * 

Pr akrti is the ultimate cause of the world . It i s 
an eternal unconscious principle (jada) which is always 
changing and has no other end_ than the satisfaction oF~ 
the selves. Sattya. rajas and taroas are three consti- 
tuents of prakrti which holds them together in a state 
of rest or equilibrium (samyavastha). .The three* are 
called gunas. BuTfhSjjare no t qu alities or attributes 
in any sense. Bather, they_are_Jbree substantial 
eleme nts * which constitute pr ak rti like three cordT" 
m aking up a* ropg' The existejaoe_oX . the^ guna s is 
inferred from the qualities of pleasure, ^>ain anfl 



indifference which we find in all things Of the world 
The same sweet is liked or disliked or treated with 
indifference by the same man in different conditions. 
The same salad is tasteful to some person, distasteful 
to another and ifrsipid to a third. Now the cause and 
the effect are essentially identical. The effect is the 
manifested condition of the cause, e.g. oil as an effect 
manifests what is already contained in the seeds. 'The 
things of the world are effects which have the qualities 
of pleasure, pain ajd-lndifference. Therefore, prakrti 

or pradhana which is their ultimate cause must have 
the three~BlementB..ol. l sattva, rajas and tamas which 
respectiveTy~p6ssess the najur.es_ of pleasure, pain and 
indifference, and. ca use ma nifestation , ac tivity _ and 
passivity. ^-,7* 

Theeyolution^of the worl d has its start ing point in 
the association (samy oga) of the purusa with pnakrti, 
which dist urbs the orig inal equilibrium of the latter 
and moveB it to action. The course of eyolutionjaaa 
follows: "ffronT prakrti arises t he great germ of this 
vas t .universe which is called"! therefore, the great on e 
^^baahat). The -consciousness of the self is reflected on 
this a nd makeBj t a ppear as conscious. It r eprese nts 
the awakening of nature from her cosmic slumber and 
th e first appearance of thought ;. and, therefore, it is 
also cailed the Intellect (buddhi).* It is the creative 
thought ofthe _w orld to be evolved. Ahankara, t he 
second product, arises by a further tr ansformation ■* of 
the Intellect. The function of ahankara isjh e feeli ng 
of ' I afad mine ' (abbimana). Owing to its 'identifica- 
tion with this principle, the self considers itself to be 
an agent <karta) which it really is not. From ahankara, 


with an_ex$e«L of the elem ent of sattva, arise the five 
organs of knowledge^ (jganendriytQ/lhe five organs of 
acti on (karmendri ya) and i-he mind (raanas) which is at 
once an organ of knowledge and activity (ubhayendriya). 
With an increase of tamas, ahaiikara produces, on the 
other han3, the "five subtle elements (tanmatra) which 
are the potentisflities of s ound, t ouch^colour, tas te an d 
smell. From the five subtle elements come the five 
gross elements of akasa or ether, air, fire, water a nd 
earthy in the sa me o rder. Thus we have altoget her 
twenty-five principles in the Sankhya. Of these, all 
but the purusa is comprisetT~b"y pr akrti w hich is the* 
cause or the ultimate source of all other physical objects 
including mmd, matter and lif§. PrakrtijR the uifcaused 
ca use~of all objects. The seven principles of mahat f 
aha ukara and the five tanmatras are causes of certa in 
eff ects and themselves effects of certain cause s. The 
eleven senses and the five gross elements are .only the 
effects of certain causes and not themselves the causes 
of anything which is substantially different from them. 
The pu rusa or the self is neither the cau se (prakrti) 
nor the effec t (vikrti) of anything. 

Although the self is in itself free and immortal, yet 
such is the influence of avidya or ignorance that it 
confuses itself with the body, the senses and the mind 
(manas). It is the want of discrimination (aviveka) 
between the Belf and the not-self that is responsible 
for all our sorrows and sufferings. We feel injured 
and unhappy when our body is injured or indisposed, 
because we fail to realize the distinction between the 
self and the body. Similarly, pleasure and pain Tn the 
mind seem to affect the self only because Jhe self's* 


distinction from the mind is not clearly -perceived by 
us. Once^jve realiz e^ the dist iagtipn b etween the s ejf 
and the- pot-aelf includ ing the body and the sense; , the 
mind, the intellect an3 the. ego (viveka-jfiana), our self 
jpeases to be affected by the joys and sorrows, the up3 
jind downs of life. It rests "in itself as the dispassionate 
observer of the show of events in the world witDout 
being implicated in_them. Th is is the state of libera - 
tionor fr eedom from suffering which has been variously 
d escribed^ 9 nTnUi, apavarga, kaivalya, etc. It is 
possible for us to attain this state while alive in this 
world (jivanmukti) or after this life in tbe other world 
(videhamukti). Bat mere knowledge or intellectual 
understanding of the truth will not help one to realize 
one's selfand thereby attain final release fromjinjind 
suffering.^ For this we require to go through a long 
course of spirUual_traaning_with deep devotion to, and 
constant .m editation on, the truth that the self is tbe 
pure etern al consciousness whic h is beyond the mind- 
body complex and above the sp ace-time an<f ca use-effect 
order of exUtence._ It is the unborn and undying 
spirit, of which the essence is freedom, immortality 
and life eternal. The nature and methods of the 
spiritual training necessary for self-realization have 
been elaborated in the Yoga philosophy. 

With regard to the problem of (rod, we find that 
the main tendency of the Sankhya is'-tb do away with 
the theistic belief. According to it, the existence of 
God cannot be proved in any way. We need not 
admit God to explain the world ; for, prakrti is the 
adequate cause of tbe world as a whole. God as eternal 
and unchanging spirit cannot be the creator of the 


world ; for U? produce an effect the cause must change 
and transform itself into the effect. Some Saukbya 
commentators and writers, however, try to show that 
the system admits the existence of God as the supreme 
person who is the witness but not the creator of the 

7. The Yoga System 

The sage Patanjali is the founder of the Yoga 
philosophy. The Yoga is closely allied to the Sankhya. 
It mostly accepts the epistemology a"d the metaphy- 
sics of the Sankhya with its twenty-five principles, but 
admits also the existence of God. The special interest 
of this system is in the practice of yoga as the means 
to the attainment of vivekajfiana or discrimiifative 
knowledge which is held in the Sankhya to be the 
essential condition of liberation. According to it, yoga 
consists in the cessation of all mental functions 
(cittavrttinirodba). There are five levels of mental 
functions (cittabhumi). The first is called ksipta or 
the dissipated condition in which the mind flirts among 
objects. The second is mudha or the stupefied condi- 
tion as in sleep. The third is called viksipta or the 
relatively pacified condition. Yoga is not possible in 
any of these conditions. The fourth and the fifth 
level are called ekagra and nirnddha. The one is a 
state of concentration of the mind on some object 
of contemplation. The other is the cessation of even 
the act or function of contemplation. The last two 
levels of the mind (cittabhiimi) are conductive to yoga. 
There are two kinds of yoga or samadhi, viz.* 
Bamprajnata and asamprajfiata. In the first we have 




yoga in the form of the mind's perfect concen- 
tration on the object of contemplation, and, therefore, 
involving a clear apprehension of that object. In the 
second, there is the complete cessation of all mental 
modifications and, consequently, the entire absence of 
rJl knowledge including that of the contemplated 

There are eight steps in the practice of yoga, 
(yoganga), These are : yama or restraint, niyama or 
ethical culture, asana or posture, pranayama or breath- 

- control, pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses, 
dharana or attention, <dbyana or meditation and samadhi 
or concentration. Yama or restraint consists in abstain- 
ing .from injury to any life, from falsehood, theft, 
incontinence and avarice. Niyama or ethical culture 
is the cultivation of good habits like purification, 
contentment, penance, study of the VedaB and contem- 
plation of God. Asana is the adoption of steady and 
comfortable postures. Pranayama or breath-control 
is regulated inhalation, exhalation and retention of 
bre&tb.. Pratyahara or sense-control consists in with- 
drawing the senseB from their objects. Dharana or 
attention is fixing the mind on Borne intra- organic or 
extra-organic object like the nose-tip or the moon. 
Dbyana or meditation is the steady contemplation of 
the object without anv break. Samadhi or concentra- 
tion is that state in which the contemplative conscious- 
ness is lost in the contemplated object and has no 
awareness of itself. 

The Toga system is called the theistic (sesvara) 

, Sankhya as distinguished from the 'Kapila Sankhya 
which ift generally regarded as atheistic (njrigvara), It 


holds that God ia the highest object of contemplation 
for concentration and self-realization. He is the perfect 
Being who is eternal, all-pervading, omniscient and 
completely free from all defects. The Toga argues for 
the existence of God on the following grounds : What- 
ever has degrees* must have a maximum. There aft 
degrees of knowledge ; therefore, there must be such a 
thing as perfect knowledge or omniscience. He who 
has omniscience is God. The association of purusa 
with prakrti is what initiates the evolution of the world, 
and the cessation of this leads to di&uOlution. Neither* 
the association nor the dissociation is natural to prakrti 
and purusa. Therefore, there must be a supreme being 
who is able to bring about these relations between 
prakrti and purusa according to the moral deserts of 
individual souls. 

8. The Mimamsa System 

Th fl Mimamsa (or Purva-M i mamsa ) school was_ 
founded by Jaimini. It s primary objec t is to de fend_ 
and ]usiluY~ Vedic ritualism. In course of thisNattempt^ 
it had" to find a philos ophy" s upporting the world-view 
on whlcTT^u^ifim^ej^ndRr "" ~~* "" 

T he aut hority of the Vedas is the basis of ritualism., 
and th e^imam sli f orrmnatesT Ee ^flogrWatJhe V gfaK 
are not the works of any person _and are, th erefor e, 
free from er rors that human authors comm it. The 
Vedas are eternal and self-existing TTBe written or_ 
pronounced Vedas areonly their temporary manifesta- 
tions through par ticular seers^ For__ gstablishib^ the 
validity of the Vedas^ t he Mimamsa discusse s very * • 
elaborately the theory_ of knowledge, the c hief object 



of which is to show that the validity of every know- 
ledge is self-evident. When there are sufficient condi- 
tions, knowledge arises. When the senses are sound, 
objects are present to tbein and other auxiliary condi- 
tions also prevail, there is perception. When there 
tfre sufficient data, there is inference. When we read 
a book on geography, we have knowledge of the lands 
described, through authority. In_each of_ these cases 
the knowle dge t hat arises claims to be true an d we 
accept it with out further argum ent. If there is any 
cause for doubt, then knowledge docs not arise at all, 
because belief is absent. Similarly, by reading the 
Vedas. we have at once knowledge and belief in what 
they say. The validity of Vedic knowledge is self- 
evident like that of every other knowledge. If any 
doubts arise, they are removed with the help of 
Mimamsa arguments ; and the obstacles being removed, 
the Vedas themselves reveal their contents to the 
reader. The authority of the Vedas fhus becomes 

'What the Vedas command one to perform is right 
(dbarma*. What they forbid is wrong. D uty consi sts 
in doing what is right and desistng from foibidden 
acts. Duty must be done in the spirit of duty. The 
rituals enjoined by the Vedas should be performed not 
with the hope of any reward but just because they are 
so enjoined. The disinterested performance of the 
obligatory rites, which is possible only through know- 
ledge and self-control, gradually destroys the karmas 
and brings about liberation after death. The state of 
' liberation is conceived in the early Mimamsa as one of 
unalloyed bliss or heaven. But the later Mimamsa 


conceives liberation only negatively as the cessation of 
birth and, therefore, of all pains. 

The soul must be admitted as an immortal eternal 
substance, for if the soul perished on death, the Yedic 
injunctions that certain rites should be performed for 
the attainment of heaven would be meaningless. The 
Mimaihsa writers also adduce independent arguments, 
like the Jainas, to prove the existence of the immortal 
soul, and refute the materialistic view that it is nothing 
other than the body. But they do not admit conscious- 
ness as intrinsic to the soul. Consciousness arises in 

it only when it is associated with the body and then 

also only when an object is presented to the organs of 
knowledge (the five outer senses and tb<* inner organ 
called ruanas). The liberated soul, which is disetn- 
bodied, has no actual consciousness, though it has the 
potentiality for it. 

The soul in the bod y has different kinds of know- 
ledge. One school of the Mimamsa founded by Pra- 

, _, • 

bhakara admits five different sources of knowledge 

(pramanas), namely, perception (pratyaksa), infer- 
ence (anumana), comparison (upamana), testimony 
(sabda't and posiulation (arthapatti). The first four 
are admitted as in the Nyaya system. There is, how- 
ever, one notable difference regarding comparison. 
According to the Mimamsa knowledge by comparison 
arises in a case like the following : A man who has 
Been a monkey goes to a forest, sees an ape and judges, 
' this ape is like a monkey.' From this judgment of 
perception he passes to the judgment ' the •monkey 
T saw before ft like this ape.' ThiB last knowledge is 
obtained by comparison and not by perception, because 


the monkey is not present then. Knowledge by pcmtu- 
lation arises when we have to postulate something art 
the only explanation of an apparent conflict. When 
we find that a man does not eat anything in the day, 
but increases in weight, we postnlate that he most be 
eating at night. When a man is known to be alive 
and yet not found at home, it is known by postulation 
that he exists somewhere out. Another school of the 
Mimamsa founded by Kumarila Bhatta admits another 
source of valid cognition, in addition to the above five. 
.This sixth pramana is called non-cognition (anupa- 
labdhi). It is pointed out that when on entering a 
room and looking round one says, ' there is no cloth in 
this room,' the non-existence of the cloth cannot be 
said to, be "known by perception. Perception of an 
object arises when our sense is stimulated by that 
object, and non-existence, which is the object known 
here, cannot be admitted to stimulate sense. Such know- 
ledge of non-existence takes place by non-cognition. We 
judge the absence of the cloth not because other things 
are perceived but because the cloth is not perceived. 

The Mimamsa believes in the reality of the physical 
world od the strength of perception. It is, therefore, 
realistic. It believes, as we have seen, in the reality 
of souls, as well. But it does not believe that there 
is a supreme soul or God who has created the world. 
The world's objects are formed out of matter in accord- 
ance with the karmas of the souls. The law of karma 
is a spontaneous moral law that rules the world. The 
Mimamca also admits that when any man performs 
any ritual, there arises in bis soul a potency (apurva) 
which produces in future the fruit of the action at an 


opportune •Aoment. On account of this potency 
generated in the soul by riteB performed here, one anc 
enjoy their fruits hereafter. 

9. The Vedanta System 

This system arises out ef the Upajiisads which 
mark the culmination of the Vedic speculation and are 
fittingly called the Vedanta or the end of the Vedas. 
As we have seen previously, it develops through the 
Upanisads in which its basic truths are first grasped, 
the Brahma-sutra of Badarayan* which systematizes 
the Upanisadic teachings, and the commentariesw ritten 
on 4&eae sutras by many subsequent writers among, 
whom. SankaraTaud RauiUinuja are well-knawii._* Of_ all 
the systems nhe "Vedanta", specially as interpreted by 

Sankara, has exerted the greatest influence on Indian 
life and it still persists in some form or other in 
different parts of India. u ..-— * 

v The id eaof one_ Supreme Person ( purusa) , who 
pervades the whole univer6e~?n3 yeTremai ns beyond it^ 
is found in a hymn of the Rg-veda. "~Xll~65]ect8 o,f the 
universe, animate and inanimate, men and gods, are 
poetically conceived here as parts of that Person. In 
the Upanisads this unity of all existence is found deve- 
loped into the impersonal conception of One Reality 
(sat;, or the conceptiorTof One Soul or One Brahman, 
all of which are uBed synonymously. The world is 
said to originate from this Reality, rest in it and 
return into it when dissolved. The reality of the 
many particular objects perceived in the universe is 
denied and their unity in the One Reality is asserted , 
ever and again; AH is Ood (sarvam khalu idanl 


Brahma). The soul is God (ayam Atmu Brahma). 
There is no multiplicity here (neha uana asti kincana). 
This Soul or God is the Reality (satya). It is Infinite 
coneciousness (jSana) and Bliss (ananda). 

Sankara interprets the Upaninads and the Brahma- 
sutra to show that pure and unqualified monism is 
taught therein. God is the only Reality, not Bimply in 
the sense that there is nothing except God, but also in 
the sense that there is no multiplicity even within God. 
The denial of plurality, the unity of the soul and God, 
t the assertion that when God is known, all is known, 
and similar views found in the Upanisads, in fact the 
general tone that pervades their teachings, cannot be 
explained consistently even if we believe in the exist- 
ence of many realities within God. Creation of the 
many things by God (Brahman) or the soul (Xtman) is, 
of course, related in some Upanisads. But in others, 
and even in the Yedas, creation is compared to magic 
or jugglery ; God is spoken of as the Juggler who creates 
the world by the magical power called Maya. 

Ankara, therefore, holds th at, in consistency with 
the emphatic teaching that there is only One Real ity, 
we have to explain t he world not as a real creation, but 
as an ap pearance which God conjures up with his 
inscrutable power, Maya. To make the conception of 

Maya more intelligible to ordinary experience, he inter- 
prets it in the light of ordinary illusions that we have 
in daily life, when a rope appears, for example, as a 
snake or a glittering shell appears as silver. In all 
such ca'Bes of illusion there is a substratum or a reality 
(<i.g. rope, shell) on which something else (e.g. snake, 
silver) is Imagined or superimposed due to the ignorance 


of the substratum. This ignorance not only conceals 
the underlying reality or substratum, but also makes 
it appear as something else. Our perception of the 
world's objects can be similarly explained. We perceive 
the many objects in the One Brahman on "accoont^f 
our lyuornuue (avldya or ajnana; wnich .conceals the 

real Brahman from us and makes it app ear aa the man y 
objects. When the juggler produces an illusory show, 
makes one ~coTu _ appe"ar asfirany; the cause of it from 
his point of view is his magical power; from our point 
of view the reason why we perceive the many coins.., 
is our ignorance of the one real coin. Applying this 
analogy to the world-appearance, we can say that this 
appearance is due to the magical power of Maya in God 
and we can also say that it is due to our igno/ance. 
Maya and ignorance are then the two sides of the same 
fact looked at from two different points of view. 
Hence Maya is also said to be of the nature* of Igno- 
rance (Avidya or Ajfiana). Lest one should think 
that Sankara's position also fails to maintain pure 
monism, because two realities — God and MayaV-are 
admitted, Sankara points out that Maya as a power of 
God is no more different from God" Than the power of 
burning is from fire. There is then no dualism "but 
purtTmonism (advaita). 

But is not even then God really possessed of creative 
power? g ankara replies IFat so "'Jong as one "believe s 
in the wo rld-appear ance, he looks at God through th e 
world, as the creator of it. But when he realizes th at 
t he wor ld iB apparent, t hat nothing is really tr eated, 
he ceases to think of God as a Creat or. To one who 
iB not deceived by the magician's art and seed through 


his trick, the magician fails to be a magician ; he is 
not credited with any magical power„ Similarly, to the 
few who see nothing but God in the world, God ceases 
to have Maya or the power of creating appearances. 

In view of this Sankara finds it necessary to dis- 
tinguish two f different points of view, the ordinary or 
empirical (vyavaharikai a nd the transcendental or real 
(paramar tbika). The first is the standpoint of un- 
enlightene d persons who regard the world as real ; our 
li fe of practice depends on t hjs; it in rightly cflHwj^ 
.therefore, the vyavaharika or practical point of view, 
ffe'rom His point of view the world ap pears as real; 
God "is thonght_to be its omnipo tent and omniscient 
creator, sustainer and destroyer. Thus God appears 
as quahned (saguna) by many qualitiee. God in this 
aspect is called by Sankara Saguna Brahma or Isvara. 
From this point of view the self also appears asThough 
limited by the body; it behaves like a finite ego (aham). 
The second or the real (parama rthika) standpoint is 
that of the enlightened who have realized that the world 
is aryappearance and that there "Is nothihgbufGod." 
Prom this point of view, TiEe world being thought ui> 
real, GodceasesjiQ-fee- regarded as anyjrealcjeator, or 
as possessed of any qualities like omniscience, omni- 
potence. God is realized as One without any internal 
distinction, without any quality'. God fforfl~trnVtrans- 
oendentar standpoint (paramarthikadrsti/ is indeter- 
minate7~OT3""cTiaracterress; Tt~"ls Nirguna Brahman. 
The body alsoTiTtnown to be a pp arent and there i s 
nothing_ to distinguish the s oul from-Gcui. 

The attainment of this real standpbint is pos sible 
only by fine removal of ignorance (avidya) to which the 


c QBmic illueibD is due. And this can be effected only 
by the knowledge, that ia imparted T?y the V edanta. 
One muBt control the sense.'} and the mind, give up all 
attachment to objects, realizing their transitory nature, 
and have an earnest desire for liberation. He should 
then study the Vedanta undjer an enlightened teacher 
and try to realise its truths by constant reasoning and 
meditation./ When he is thus fit, the teacher would 
tell him at last: ^I Thou art Bra hman." He would 
meditate on this till he has a direct and permanent 
realization of the truth 'I am Brahman.' ThiB is 
perfect wisdom or liberation from bondage. Though 
such a liberated soul still persists in the body and in 
the world, these no longer fetter him aB be does not 
regard tbem as real. He is in the world, but not of 
the world. No attac hment, no illusion can affect his 
wisdom. The soul then being free__from the illusory 
ideas that divided it from God , is free from all misery a 
As God is bi;m i °" af° fi in fi b ° K bi!" 1 ^ m i l . 

The teachings of the Vedanta are interpreted and ' 
developed by Bamanuja in a different way, as follows : ; 
God is the only Beality. Within Him there exist as 
parts the different unc onscious (acit) material object s 
as well as the many conscious souls (city. God is 
possessed of all supremely good qualities like omni- 
science, omnipotence. Just as a spider spins the cob- 
weo out of his own body, so God creates the world of 
material objects out of matter (acit) which eternally 
exists in Him. The souls are concei ved as infinitely 
small (anu) substances which a lso exist eternally. They 
are by their very nature conscious and self-lunftnous. 
"Every soul is endowed .with a material body ifl accord-* 


ance with its karma. Bondage of the said means it s 
/confinement to this body. Liberation is tto jsompjete 
dissociation of the soul from the body. The cause of 
Bondage is karma which BpringTlromlgnorance. The 
soul" identifieTTtleTTwitb the~body7through ignorance 
of its real nature and behaves as though it were the 
body. It hankers after sensuous pleasures. Thus it 
becomes attached to the world and the force of this 
attachment causes its repeated rebirth. Ignorance is 
removed by the Btudy of the Vedanta. Man comes to 
know that his soul is distinct from the body, that it is 
really a part of God or Brahman, on whom his existence 
depends. The disintere sted performance of the obli- 
gatory duties enjoined by the Yedas destroys the accu- 
nlulatfld furuutj uf attachment or karmaT ahlTheTps The 
perfection of knowledge. God is known as the only 
object worthy of love and there is constant meditation 
on God and resignation to His will. God isjpjeased 
bydevotio n and releases the devotee from bondage,. 
He iB never born again after death. Tne liberated 
soul becomes similar to God, beca use hke_God it has 
pure consciousness free from imperfections^ BuTit 
does not become ideniicoLwilh _God, as the_ finite can 
never become -infinite. 

According to Bainanuja, though God is the only 
Beality and there is nothing outside God, yet within 
God there are many other realities. Creation of the 
.world and the objects created are all as real as God. It 
is, therefore, not unqualified monism (advaita), but a 
monism, of the One qualified by the presence of many 
parts (vislstadvaita). God possessed of the conscious 
Bbulsand unconscious matter is the only Beality. 



Daksbinaranjan Shastri ... A Short History of Indian 

Materialism. (Book 



Materialism '(Book 
Company, Calcutta). 

GhdTvaka-Skashti (Book 

(Eng. trans, by Cowell 
and Googh), Cb. on 

Sad-dariana-samuccaya . 

Kdma-sutra, Chs. I-II. 

Indian Philosophy, Vol. 1, 
Cb. V. 


I. Its Origin and Scope 

Materialism is the name given to the metaphysical 
doctrine which holds that matter is 

Jafeaii.r ning o£ the onl y »%• ThiB doctrine 

tries to explain mind and conscious- 
ness as the products of matter. * In general outlook 
materialism represents the tendency that seeks to reduce 
t he high er to the lower or explain the higherpheno- 
mena iiTtnTllglit of llie luwur outSE In this respect 
it is o pposed to s piritua l interpretat ions of the universe. 
Though materialism in some form or other has 
always been present in India, and 
No systematic i»ork occasional references are found in 

on Indian Materialism -,,,.,. ,., 

iB available. the \edas, the Buddhistic literature, 

the Epics, as well as in the later 
philosophical works, we do not find any systematic 
work on materialism, ncr any organised school of 
followers as the other philosophical schools possess. 
But almost every work of the other schools states, for 
refutation, the materialistic views. Our knowledge of 
Indian materialism is chiefly based on these. 

' Carviikft ' is the word that generally stands for ' mate- 

^rialiajL' But the original meaning of this word is shrouded" 

in mystery. According to one view, 'jCar vaka \ was 

originally the pame of a sage w ho propounded materialism. 

The eommon name 'Carvaka ' is derived from this proper' 


name and means the follower of that sage.c i.e., a mate- 
rialist. According to another view, ' Carvaka ' was even 
originally a common descriptive namfe given to a materialist, 
either because he preaches the doctrine of ' eat r drink and 
.be merry ' * (carv — eat, chew), or because his words are 
pleasanj Land-Bice (cam — nice, vak — word). So m e, writers^ 
again regard Brhaspati as the founder of materialism? 
This view is based on the facts (a) that some Vedjc hymns 
' ascribed by tradition to Brhaspati, son ofrLoka, are marked 
by a spirit of revolt and free- thinking, (6) that in the Maha- 
bharata and elsewhere materialistic views are put ip the 
mouth of Brhaspati and (c) that about a dozen sutras and 
verseB are found quoted or referred to by different authors 
as the materialistic teachings of Brhaspati. Some even 
go a little further and say that Brhaspati, the teacher of 
* the gods, propagated the materialistic views among the 
giants (the enemies of the gods) so that by following these 
attractive teachings they might come to ruin I 

But whoever be tbe founder of Indian materialism , 

« Carvaka ' has become synonymous 

C5rv^k8 e or B i^ka 9 ,atika. with ' materialist." The_word J^sed 

for materialis m is al so lokayat a- 

mata, i.e., the view o_fj^mon_j>eppJg.__A ma terialist 

is accordingly called also lokayatika 

Though the materialistic ideas are scattered here 
and there, they may be systematized and conveniently 
presented under three chief heads, namely, Epistemo- 
logy, Metaphysics and Ethics. 

II. The Cirvska^Epistemology 

The entire philosophy olJhe Garvafcae may be said 
to depend logically . on their opiate- 

oSf°kno 8 wMg? mol °gy or the theor y of knowledge. 
The main problems of epistemo- 
1 Cf. ' Piva, kbada cfc varalocane,' ^ad-dariana-samuocaya, Lok&ya- 
v tamatam. 

' Ibid', and Sarva-darfana-sahgraha, 


, » 

logy are : How far can we know reality ? How doeB 
knowledge originate ahd develop ? This laat question 
involves the problem : What are the different sources 
of knowledge? Tbis problem forms one of the chief 
topics of Indian epistemology. Knowledge of reality, 
or valid cognition, is called pramTand . tl&LfiQuxcfi-of 
such knowledgejs .called pr aman a, The Carvaka holds 
that_perceptiQn_Ja-.the ._only_ pramana _pr_d.ependflbje 
source of knowledge. For establishing this position he 
criticizes the possibility of other sources of knowledge 
like inference and testimony which are regarded—as 
valid pramanas by many philosophers. 

1. Infe rence is Not Cer jam — 

If inference is to be regarded as a pramana, it must 
yield knowledge about which we can have no doubt and 
which must be true to reality. But inference cannot 
fulfil* these conditions, because when we infer, for 
' example, the existence of tire in 
crtfftaJftoS »*o D ntain from the perception of 

known to the nn- smoke in it, we take a leap_in_thfi 

known. ' ; — 

dark, from-jJ^ perceived smQ>e JiQ_ 

the unperceived fire. - A logician, like the Naiyayika. 

will perhaps point out that such a 

mMISCS™ ^ left p is i U8tified b y the p revious 

twee« the middle and knowledge of the invariable con- 
the major term, and 

comitance between smoke and fire 

and that the inference stated more fully would be : 

All cases of smoke are cases^of fire, this Jmpuntaini) is 

a case of smoke, therefore, this is a case of fire. 

The Carvaka pnjnj* nnjjjfaftt thin f^ntentinn ,ronnld 

be accepta ble~only if the major premise, s tating the 

9— 1606B 


invariable relation between_the,.jniidla— tera} <smoke) 

and the major (fir e), were beyond 

no such universal doubt. But thig invariable relation 

relation can be wcer- {vyapti) oan be estab Ushed Only if 

we have a knowledge of all casea of 
smokejmd all cases of, fire. This, however, is not pos- 
sible, as we cannot perceive even all the cases of smoke 
and fire existing now in different parts of the world, to 
speak nothing of those which existed in the past or 
will exist in the future. No inv ariable, uj iivgrsal rela- 
tion (vyapti) can, therefore, be established by percep - 
tion. Neither can H be said to be based on another 
inference, because it will involve a pctitio principii, 
since the validity of that inference again has to be 
similarly proved. Nor can this vyapti be based on tlie 
testimony (subda) of reliable perconB (who Btate that 
all cases of smoke are cases of fire). For, the validity 
of testimony itself requires to be proved by inference. 
Besides, if inference always depended on testimony, no 
one could infer anything by himself. 

Rut it may be asked : Though it is not possible to per- 
ceive all individual cases of smoke and fire, is it not possible 
to perceive the constant class-characters (sfimaDya) like 
' smokeDess ' and ' fireness ' which must be invariably 
present in all instances of smoke and fire respectively ? If 
so, then can we not say that we at least perceive a relation 
between smokeness and fireness and with its help infer 
the presence of fire, wherever we perceive smoke? The 
Carvaka replies that even if we grant tbe perception of a 
relation/Between smokeness and fireness, we cannot know 
therefrom any invariable relation between all individual 
easss of smoke and fire. To be able to infer a particular 
fire, we must know that it is inseparably related to the 
particular smoke perceived. In fact, it is not possible even 
to know by perception what ' smokeness ' or the class- 
character universally present in all particular instances of 


smoke is, because we do not perceive all oases of smoke. 
What is found t'o oe universally present in the perceived 
cases of smoke, may ,not be present in the unperceived 
ones. The difficulty of passing from particulars to the 
universal, therefore, remains here as before. 

But it may be asked : If we do not believe in any 
fixed universal law underlying the 

Uniformities of ex. , , ... . , • , , 

perience are explain- phenomena of the world, how would 

£*& '* 'aS We eXplaiD tbe uniformities that 
which also may change experienced objects possess ? Why 

is lire always experienced to be hot 
and water to be cool? The Oarvaka reply is that it is 
due to the inherent natures (svabhrva) of things that 
they possess particular characters. No supernatural 
principle need be supposed to account for the properties 
of experienced objects of nature. There is neither 
any guarantee that uniformity perceived in the past . 
would continue in future. 

A modern student of inductive logic would be 

tempted to ask the Oarviika : " But 

iia C eerutnab\ a f ti011 " ** CaD We not base 0Ur k °OWledge of 
the invariable relation between 
srnoke and fire on a causal relation betweeu them?" 
The Oarvaka reply would be that a causal relation, 
being only a kind of invariable relation, cannot be 
established by perception owing to the same difficulties. 

The Cilrviika would further point out that a causal 
or any other invariable relation cannot be established 
merely by repeated perception of two things occurring 
together. For one must be certain that there is no other 
unperceived condition (upiidhi) on which tbis relation 
depends. For example, if a man perceives a number of 
times fire accompanied by smoke and on another occasion 
he infers the existence of smoke on the perception of fire, 
he would be liable to error, because he failed to, notice 


si condition (upadhij, namely, wetness, of fuel, on the 
presence of which alone fire is Attended with smoke. 80 
long as the relation between two phenomena is not proved 
to be unconditional, it is an uncertain ground for inference. 
And unconditionality or absence of conditions connot be 
established beyond doubt by perception, as some conditions 
may always remain hidden and escape notice. Inference 
or testimony cannot be used for proving this uncondition- 
ality without a petiiio prfncipii. Because its validity also 
is being questioned here. 

It is true that in life we very often act unsuspect- 
ingly on inference. But that only 

Some inferences acci- . 

dentally turn out to shows that we act uncritically on 
6 ue ' the wrong belief that our inference 

is true. It is a fact that sometimes <$r inference 
come3 true and leads to successful results. But it is 
also a fact that sometimes inference leads to error as 
well! Truth is not then an unfailing character of all 
inferences; it is only an accident, and a separable 
one, we find only in some inferences. 

Inference cannot be regarded, therefore, as :i 
pramana — a sure source of valid cognitior.. 

2. Testimony is Nol a Safe Source of Knowledgt 

But can we not regard the testimony of competent 
persons as a valid and safe source 

Testimony relating 

to nDperceived objects of knowledge? Do we not very 
often act on knowledge received 
from authority? The Carvaka replies that testimony 
consists of words (sabda). So far as .words are heard 
thropgh our earB, they are perceived. Knowledge of 
words is, therefore, knowledge through perception 
and is* quite valid. But in so far as* these words 


suggest or«nfean things Dot within our perception, and 
aim at giving us knowledge of those un perceived objects, 
they are not free from error and doubt. Very often 
we are misled by so-called authority. The authority 
of the Vedas, for example, its held in high esteem 
by many. But in, reality {h* 

Even the. Vednt .are -vt j « .1 . 

not reliable. Vedas are the works of some cun- 

ning priests who earned their 
living by duping the ignorant and the credulous. 
With false hopes and promises the Vedas persuade 
men to perform Vedic rites, the only tangible benefit of 
which goes to the priests who t ofT;ciate and enjoy the 

But will not our knowledge be extremely limited 

and practical life sometimes im- 
Testimony supported .. , ., , . ... 

by inference is as un- possible, if we do not accept the 
certain as inference. WQrdB Qf tfae experiei1ced and do 

not depend on expert advice ? The Carvaka reply 
is that in so far as we depend on any authority, 
because we think it to be reliable, the knowledge 
obtained is really based on inference ; because our 
belief is generated by a mental process like this : 
This authority should be accepted because it is 
reliable, and all reliable authority should be accepted. 
Being based on inference, knowledge derived from verbal 
testimony or authority is as precarious as inference. 
And as in the case of inference, so here we often 
act on knowledge derived from authority on the wrong 
belief that it is reliable. Sometimes this belief acci- 
dentally leads to successful results, sometime* it does 
I not. Therefore, authority or testimony cannot be 
regarded as safe and valid source of knowledge. 


As neither inference nor authority can* Ire proved 
to be reliable, perception must be ^regarded as the 
only valid source of knowledge (pramana). 

III. Metaphysics 
Metaphysics is the theory of reality. The Car- 

vaka theory of reality, follows from 
Matter is the only ,. . . 

reality, because it the epistemological conclusion 
aloneis perceived. j Mt digcas8ed If perception 'is 

the only reliable source of knowledge, we can 
rationally assert only the reality of perceptible objects. 
Grcd, soul, heaven, life before birth or after death, 
and any uaperceived ' law (like adrsta) cannot be 
believed in, because they are all beyond perception. 
Material objects are the only objects whose existence 
can be pterceived and whose reality can be asserted. 
The Carvakas, thus, come to establish materialism or 
the theory jjhat matter is the only reality. 

1. The World is Made 0/ Four Elements 

Regarding the nature of the material world most 
other Indian thinkers hold that it is composed of 

five kinds of elements (pafica- 
of M fpr e leLr P ° 8Cd b huta), namely, ether (akasa'), air 

)vayu), fire (agni), water (ap) and 
earth (ksiti). But the Carvakas reject ether, because its 
existence cannot be perceived ; it has to be inferred. 
The material world is, therefore, held to be composed 
of the four perceptible elements. Not only non- 
living material objects but also living organisms, like 
plants and animal bodies, are composed of these four 
elements, by the combination of which they are pro- 
duced and io which tbey are reduced on death. 


2. There is No Soul 

But it may %e asked, even if perception is the 
only source of knowledge, do we 

br e thrivin g n toK not i,ave a kind ° f p^p*^ 

with the quality of called internal, which gives an 

consciousness. , , 

, immediate knowledge of our mecttfT 

states ? And do we not perceive in these, conscious- 
ness which is nowhere to be perceived in the external 
materi il objects ? If so, does it not compel us to 
believe that there is in us some non-material substance, 
whose quality is consciousness — the substance whioh 
is called soul or spirit (fitma) ? • 

The Carvakas admit that the existence of con- 


sciousness is proved by perception. But they deny 
that consciousness is the quality of any un perceived 
non-material or spiritual entity. As consciousness is 
perceived to exist in the perceptible living body 
composed of the material elements, it must be a 
quality of, this body itself. What people mean 
by a soul is nothing more than this conscious living 
body fcaitanya-visistadehii eva atmii). The. non- 
material soul is never perceived. On the contrary, 
we have direct evidence of the identity of the 6elf with 
the body in our daily experiences and judgments like, 
' lam fat," ' I am lame,' ' 1 am blind.' If the ' I,' 
the self, were different from the body, these would be 

But the objection may be raised : We do not per- 
ceive consciousness in any of the four material elements. 
How can it then come to qualify their product, the 
body ? In reply the Carvaka points out that qualities 
not resent originally in any of the component factors 


may emerge subsequently when the factors are combined 
together. For example, betel leaf, lime and nut, none i 
of which is originally red, come to acquire a reddish \ 
tinge when chewed together. Or, even the same thing 
placed under a different condition may develop qualities 

.originally absent. For example, molasses (guda), origi- 
nally non-intoxicant, becomes intoxicant when allowed 
to ferment. In a similar way it is possible to think that 
the material elements combined in a particular way 
give rise to the conscious liviog body. Consciousness 

"is an epiphenomenon or bye-product of matter ; there 
is no evidence of its existence independent of the body. 
If the existence of « soul apart from the body is 
not proved, there is no possibility of proving its 
immortality. On the contrary, death of the body means 
the end of the individual. All questions about previous 
life, after-life, rebirth, enjoyment of the fruits of actions 
in heaven or hell, therefore, become meaningless. 

3. There is No God 

God, whose existence cannot be perceived, fares no 
better than the soul. The material elements produce 
the world, and the supposition ol a creator is unneces- 
sary, The objection may be raised : Can the material 
elements by themselves give rise to this wonderful 
world ? We find that even the production of an object 
like an earthen jar requires, in addition to clay which is 
The supposition of its material cause, a potter who is 

God as creator is nn- the efficient cause that shapes the 

necessary. The world . , 

comes into existence material into the desired form. 

cLbinatior^rf'ma'te 8 . The four elemeqts supply only the 
rial elements. material caus^sf the world. Do we 

not require 'anX.efficient cause, liWe God, as the sbaper 


and designer who tarns the material elements into this 
wonderful world ? In reply, the Carvaka states that 
the material elements themselves have got each its 
fixed nature (svabhava). It is by the natures and laws 
inherent in them that they combine together to form 
this world. There is thus no necessity for God. 
There is no proof that the objects of the world are the 
products of any design. They can be explained more 
reasonably as the fortuitous products of the elements. 
The Carvakas, therefore, prefer atheism. 

In so far as this Carvaka theory tries to explain the 
world oaly by nature, it is sometirn^s called naturalism 
(svabhava-vada). It is also called mechanism (yadrccha- 
vada), because it denies the existence of conscious purpose 
behind the world and explains it as a mere mechanical or 
fortuitous combination of elements. The Carvuka theory 
on the whole may also be called positivism, becai/se it 
believes only in positive facts or observable phenomena. 

IV. Ethics . 

Ethics is the science of morality. It discusses 
problems like : What is the highest goal or Summum 
bonum man can achieve ? What should be the end of 
human conduct ? What is the standard of moral judg- 
ment ? The Carvakas discuss these ethical problems in 
conformity with their metaphysical theories. 

Some Indian philosophers like the Mimamsakas 
believe that the highest goal of human life is heaven 
(svarga) which is a state of unalloyed bliss that can be 
attained hereafter by performing here the Vedic rites. 
The Carvaka rejects this view, because it is based on 
10— 16Q5B 


the unproved existence of a life after death. ' Heaven ' 
and ' bell ' are the inventions of the 

Heaven is a myth . r . . , 

and cannot be the priests whose professional interest 
goal of We. jj eB j n coax j n g f threatening and 

making people perform the rituals. Enlightened men 
will always refuse to be duped by them. 

Many other philosophers regard* liberation as the 
highest goal of human life. Libera- 

Liberation, as free- . . > 

dom from all pain, is tion, again, is conceived as the total 
an impossible ideal. de8trm . tion of a] ] eu ff e rings. Some 

think that it can be attained only after death, when the 
bouI is free from the body ; and others believe that it 
can be attained even in this life. Bat the Carvaka 
holds- that none of these views stands to reason. If 
liberation is freedom of the soul from its bondage to 
physical existence, it is absurd because there is no soul. 
But if liberation mews the attainment of a state free 
from aU pain, in this very life, it is also an impossible 
ideal. Existence in this body is hound up with pleasure 
as well as pain. We can only try to minimise pain and 
enjoy as much pleasure as we can. Liberation in the 
sense of complete cessation of sufferings can only mean 
death. 1 Those who try to attain in life a state free 
from pleasures and pains by rigorously suppressing the 
natural appetites, thinking that all 

Pleasure, though , . . ~ 

mixed with pain, is pleasures arising out of their grati- 
theonl, possible good. ficati£m afe mixe(J with ^ ^ 

like fools. For no wise man would ' reject the kernel 
because of its husk,' nor ' give up eating fish because 
there are bones,' nor ' cease to grow, crops because there 

1 ' MaraQam eva apavargab,' Brhaspati-sittra. 


• » 

ate animals to destroy them,' nor ' stop cooking his food 
because beggars might ask for a share.' If we remem- 
ber that oar existence is confined to the existence of: the. 
body and to this life, we must regard the pleasures 
arising in the body as the only good things we can 
obtain. Wo should not throw away the opportunities 
of enjoying this life, in the futile hope of enjoyment 
hereafter. ' Bather a pigeon today than a peacock 
tomorrow. ' ' A sure shell (courie) is better than a 
doubtful golden coin.' ' Who is that fool who would 
entrust the money in hand to the custody of others ? ' * 
The goal of human life is, therefore, to attain the 
maximum amount of pleasure in this life, avoiding pain 
as far as possible. A good life is a 

Pleasure in the ideal ,.» » • . . « 

uf life, M °f maximum enjoyment. A 

good action is one which leads 
to a balance of pleasure and a bad action is one 
which brings about more pain than pleasure. This 
Carvaka ethics may be called, therefore, hedonism or 
the theory that pleasure is the highest goal. 

Some Indian thinkers speak of the four ends of 
human activity (purusartha), name- 

»n<l neither virtue V wealth (artha), enjoyment 
(dh»rma) nor libera- 

tion (mok^ft). (kama), virtue (dharma) and. libera- 

tion (moksa). Of these four, the 
Carvaka rejects the last two. Liberation in the sense 
of destruction of all sufferings can be obtained only 
by death and no wise man would willingly work for 
that end. Virtue and vice are distinctions m\de by 

1 Kama-sbtTo, Chap- '2. 


the scriptures, whose authority cannot be rationally 
„. „.. , , accepted. Therefore neither libera- 

Weslth it good ooly 
as a mease to enjoy- tion nor virtue should be our end. 

Wealth and enjoyment are the only 

rational end& that a wise man can toil to achieve. 

But enjoyment i6 the ultimate end; wealth is not an end 

in itself, it is good only as a means to enjoyment. 

Having rejected the authority of the scriptures, the 
notions of virtue and vice and belief 
Je£. rit " are a1 ' ^ life after death, the Carvakas are 
naturally opposed to the perform- 
ance of religiouB ceremonies with the object^ of either 
attaising heaven or avoiding hell or propitiating 
departed souls. They raise cheap laughter at the 
customary rites. If the food offered during funeral 
ceremony (Sraddba) for the departed sou! can appease 
his hunger, what is the use of a traveller's, taking foot! 
with bim ! Why should not his people make some 
offerings in his name at home to satisfy his hunger ? 
Similarly, food offered on the ground-floor should satisfy 
a person living upstairs. If the priests really believe, 
as they say, that animals killed at a sacrifice (yaj&a) 
are sure to reach heaven, why do they not rather 
sacrifice their old parents instead of animals and make 
heaven sure for them ? 

Religion is thus reduced to morality and morality to 
\the search of pleasure. The ethics of the Carvaka 
is only the logical outcome of his materialistic meta- 


V. Conclusion 

Like the Epicureans of Greece, the Carvakas in 
.... India have been more hated than. 

The contribution of 

tbecsnakato Indian understood. ' Carvaka ' in the 
mind of people at large is a term' 
of reproach. But it is useful for a student of philo- 
sophy to remember as well what Indian philosophy 
owes to the Carvaka. Scepticism or agnosticism is 
only the expression of a free mind that refuses to 
accept traditional wisdom without a thorough criticism. 
Philosophy, as critical speculation, claims to live 
chiefly on free thought and the more it can satisfy the 
sceptic, the sounder it can hope to be. By question- 
ing the soundness of popular notions, the sceptic sets 
new problems, by the solution of which philosophy 
becomes richer. Kant, one of the greatest philosophers 
of the West, recognized his debt to scepticism when 
he declared :," The scepticism of Hume roused me from 
my dogmatic slumber." And we may &ay that the 
Carvaka similarly saved Indian philosophy from dog- 
matism to a great extent. As noted already, every 
system of Indian thought tried to meet the Carvaka 
objections and made the Carvaka a touchstone of its 

theories. The salue of the Carvaka philosophy, 

therefore, lies directly in supplying fresh philosophical 
problems and indirectly in compelling other thinkers 
to give up dogmatism, and become critical, and 
cautiouB in speculation as veil as in statement of 
views. \ 


What has made the Carvakas most disreputable to 

people is perhaps their ethics of pleasure. Pursuit of 



1 i 
pleasure is not by itself an object of condemnation : 
pleasure in some form, is recognized us desirable by other 
philosophers as well. It is condemned only when the 
nature of pleasure is coarse and the pleasure is wanted 
only for one's own self. It is true that some Carvakas 
advocate a life of gross sensual pleasures. But a dis- 
tinction found sometimes, between the cunning (dhurta) 
and cultured '(su&ksita) Carvakas make jt likely that the 
Carvakas were not all of the same gross, uncultured type. 
There is evidence that the materialists devoted them- 
selves also to the pursuit of more refined pleasures by 
cultivating, for example, the fine arts, the number of which 
is as large as sixty-four (catuh-sasti-kalah), according to. 
Vatsyayana, a recognized hedonist and author of the famous 
Kama-afdra. All materialists were not egoistic hedonists. 
Egoistic hedonism in fts gross form is not compatible 
with social discipline. Life in society is impossible if man 
does not sacrifice a part of his pleasures for others. Some 
Carvakas, we are told, regard the king as God. This 
implies their great faith in the necessity of society and its 
head. "This view is further strengthened when we find 
that political philosophy and economy (dandanili and 
viirtta) came to be incorporated at some stage in the 
philosophy of the Loknyatikas. It would appear from 
these facts that there were among the materialists of 
ancient India as cultured thinkers as we find among the 
positivists of modern Europe or the followers of Democritus 
in ancient Greece. 

The best positive evidence of refined hedonism is found 
in the ethical philosophy propounded by Vatsyayana in the 
second chapter of the KSmasutra. It is here that we 
find a great hedonist himself stating and defending his 
own views. ' Though Vatsyayana believes in God and in 
life after death and, therefore, is not a materialist in the 
ordinary sense, yet he may be regarded as one, according 
to a wider sense of the term, namely, one who tries to 
explain 'higher phenomena by lower ones.' 2 Vatsyayana 
admits three desirable ends of human life (purusarthu), 

1 Tbcd°.te of Vatsyayana, according to some, is near about the 
beginning of the Christian era, and Vatsyayana tells us that he is only 
<jumroarr*ing the views of a long line of previous writers, about a dozen 
l.n number, whose works are not available now. This shows the great 
antiquity of his lice of thought. 

* Vide James, Pragmatism, p. 93. 


namely, dharma, artha and kama (virtue, wealth and enjoy- 
ment), which should be cultivated harmoniously. l His 
materialist tendency , consists in holding that dharma and 
artha are to he treated only as means to enjoyment, which 
is, therefore, the supreme end. The element of refinement 
in his hedonism consists in his emphasis on self-control 
(brahmacarya) and spiritual discipline (dharma), as well as 
urbanity (nagarika-vrtti), without which human enjoyment 
of pleasure is reduced to the Irfvel of beastly enjoyment- 
He shows that ' all physical enjoyment (kama) is ulti- 
mately reducible to the gratification of the five senses. 
He further asserts that the satisfaction of the senses is 
necessary for the very existence of the body (6arlrasthiti), 
like the satisfaction of hunger. 2 But he also maintains 
that the senses must be educated, disciplined and cultured, 
through a training in the sixty-four fine arts. This train- -* 
ing should be given only after a , person has devoted the 
earlier part of his life to absolute self-continence and 
study of the Vedas and the other subsidiary branches of 
learning. He points out that without culture human 
enjoyment would be indistinguishable from beastly 
pleasures. To the impatient hedonist who would not 
forego present comfort and would not undergo any toil for 
future enjoyment in this life, Vatsyuyana points out that 
such attitude would be suicidal. For, this wou'4 prevent 
a man even from the toil of cultivation and sowing seeds 
in the hope of the future enjoyment of a crop. In favour 
of regulation 'of the desire for enjoyment, he points out, 
with historical examples, that inordinate desire, inconsis- 
tent with the principles of dharma and wealth, Leads to ruin 
and annihilates the chances ol all enjoyment. In support 
of scientific study of the conditions and means of enjoy- 
ment, he urges, like a modern scientific man, that some 
science is at the root of all successful practice ; and that 
though all persons may not study science, they are bene- 
fited by the ideas which unconsciously and indirectly 
filter down to the masses, among which the few scientists 
live. We find, then, that Vatsyuyana represents Indian 
hedonism at its best. It is perhaps to thinkers of this 


1 ' Parasparasya anupaghatakaih Irivargatb seveta,' Kama-sut., 
1.3. J. 

1 Yasodhara, the commentator en Kamasut., explaining this, men- 
tions that non-satisfaction of the senses might lead to diseases lik) 
insanity (vramada). Vide commentary on 1, 2. 46. 


kind that the name 'cultured hedonists' (suftksita-oarvaka) 
was applied. ' 

Finally, it may be noted that the contribution of 
Carvaka epistemology is not insignificant. The criticism of 
inference put in the mouth of the Carvaka by his opponents 
reminds us of similar criticism made in modern times 
against the soundness of deductive logic. The Carvaka view 
that no inference can yield certain knowledge is the view 
of many contemporary Western thinkers like the pragma- 
tists and logical positivists. 


U-I606B 3 



Siddhasenn Divakara 



Hermann Jacobi 


S. Stevenson 

(Eng. trans, by J. L. 
jaini. The Central 
Publishing House, 

Arrah, India). 

Nydyavatdra (Eng. trans, 
and Introduction by 
S. C. VidyabbQsana. 
The Indian Reseireh 
Society, Calcutta). 

Syddvdda~manjari (Com- 
mentary by Hem- 
rhandra, Chowkhamba 
Sanskrit series, Bena- 
res, India). 

Com. by Gunaratna 
(Asiatic Society, Cal.), 
Com. of Manibbadra 
(Chowkhamba), Chap, 
on Jaina. 

The Jaina Sutras (Eng. 
trans. Sacred Books of 
the East series). 

Dravya Sangraha (Ed. 
with Eng. trans, by S. 
C. Ghoshs!. Central 
Jaina Publishing 

House, Arrah). 

The Heart 

of Jainism 


» • 

I. Introduction 

The Jain a s recount the names of twenty-four teachers 
The founders of (tlrthankaras) through whom their 
Jainiam. faith is believed to have come down ; 

from unknown antiquity. The Jfiist of these teachers 
was Ksabhadeva. The last was Vardhamana, also 
styled Mahavlra ('the great hero'). He is 'said to 
have lived in the sixth century B.C. during the time 
of Gotama Buddha. The teacher who immediately 
preceded Vardhamana was Pars'vanatha, who lived in 
the ninth century B.C. The olher twenty-two teachers 
belong to pre-historic ages. * The word ' Jina ' ety- 
mologically 'means a conqueror. It is the common 
name applied to the twenty-four teachers, because they 
have conquered ail passions 'raga and dvesa) and have 
attained liberation. 

The Jainas do not believe in God. They adore the 
The* place b> Jaina Tlrthankaras or the founders of the 
f*» tn - faith. These are the liberated souls 

who were once in bondage, but became, through their 
own efforts, free, perfect, omniscient, omnipotent and 
all-blissful. The Jainas believe that every spirit (jiva), 
that is in bondage now, can follow the example^ set by 


1 For a complete account, tide The Kalpa-sutra of Bhadrabahn 
(Jacobi, Jaina SUtras, Part I) and Mrs. Stevenaon'a The Heart of 
JainUm, Chap IV. 


the Jinas and attain, like them,, perfect knowledge, 
power and joy. This is the great element of optimism 
that inspires every true Jaina with absolute self-con- 
fidence. The possibility of the leaiization of absolute 
-perfection, through personal effoit, is for him not a 
mere speculation but a promise repeated by the life 
of every liberated saint. 

In course of time the followers of Jainisrn were 

divided into two sects well-known 
Tbe two eecta of . 

Jainism— Svetambara now as the Svetanibaras and the 

igam ara. Digambaras. The difference be- 

tween them lies, however, not so much in the basic 
philosophical doctrines as in some minor details of 
faith and practice. The teachings of the Jinas are 
accepted by both the sects. But the Digambaras are 
more rigorous and puritanic, while the Svetanibaras are 
more accommodating to the common frailties of men. 
The Digambaras hold, for example, that ascetics should 
give up all possessions, even clothes, whereas the 
Svetambaras hold that they should put on white 
clothes. ' Again, according to the Digambaras, a rain! 
who has obtained perfect knowledge needs no food, 
women cannot obtain liberation (without being born 
once more as men). The Svetambaras do not accept 
these views. 

Jainism possesses a vast literature, mostly in 
Prakrta. The canonical or authori- 

Jaina Literature. 

tative works accepted by all sects 

are sayi to contain the teachings of the last Tirlhan- 

/ kara, Mahivira. They are too many to be mentioned 

i ' Digambara ' literally means nude and ' firetanibara ' white- 


* * 

here. Much of the early literature has been lost. 
When Jainism had to defend itself against the criti- 
cism of other schools, it adopted, for this purpose, the 
technical philosophical terminology of Sanskrit and 
thus developed its literature in ^Sanskrit as well. 

The philosophical outlook of Jainism is common- 
sense realism _and_pjurali8m. The objects perceived 
by us are real, and they are many. The world 
consists of two kinds of reality, living and non-living. 
Every living being has a spirit 

outl^k%f P ji! n B Z hiOUl OT * B0U1 <J iVa) >, llOWeVer ™P«fect 
its body may be. Avoidance of 

all injury to life (ahhhsa) plays, therefore, an impor- 
tant role in Jaina ethics. Along with tnis respect for 
life there is in Jainism another great element, namely, 
respect for the opinion of others. This last attitude 
is justified by a metaphysical theory of reality a« many- 
faced (anekantavada) and a consequent logical doctrine 
(syadvada) that every judgment is subject to some ' 
condition and limitation, and various judgments about 
the same reality may, therefore, be true, each in its 
own sense, subject to its own condition. 

The philosophy of the Jainas may be conveniently 
discussed under three topics, viz. Epistemology (or 
theory of knowledge including Logic), Metaphysics, 
and Ethics and Eeligion. 

II. The Jaina Theory of Knowledge 

1. The Nature and Kinds of Knowledge 

Consciousness is the inseparable essence of*every , 
soul, according to the Jainas; it is 

JSKKd.'* uot ' as lhe Carvakashold.amere 
accidental property, arising only 


under some conditions. Moreoyer, consciousness is 

conceived like the sun's light, capable of manifesting 

itself and every thing else unless 

• JLr™olKtV it8elf «° me obstruction prevents it from 
reaching its object. 1 Had there 
been no obstacles, the soul would have been omniscient. 
Omniscience is a potentiality inherent in every soul. 
As it is, however, we find that ordinary souls are 
all more or less ignorant; their knowledge is limited. 
The Jainas hold that this limitation is due to the 
obstacles created by different karmas which obstruct 
in different degrees the natural consciousness of the 
soul' and thus deprive it of its omniscience. The body, 
the senses and the mind (manas) are all constituted by 
karmas and the soul's power is limited by them. 

Like other thinkers, the Jainas admit the twofold 
f classification of knowledge into 

a£ B kScdg a e nd m6di ' immediate and mediate (aparoksa 
and paroksa). But they point out 
that what is ordinarily regarded as immediate know- 
ledge is only relatively immediate. Perception of 
external or internal objects through the senses (indriya) 
or mind (manas) is inmiediate as compared with infer- 
ence. Still such knowledge cannot be said to be 
absolutely immediate, because even here the soul knows 
through the medium of something 

Two kinds of inline- else, namely, the senses or manas. 
diate knowledge, ordi- _ , ,.,. , , ,. 

n«y immediate and In addition to such ordinary or 
fiwWge 6 **' 6 empirical (vyavaharika) immediate 

knowledge, there is also a really or 
absolutely (paramarthika) immediate knowledge, which J 

1 ' Jfi&Damsva-para-bhasi.' 


a soul attains, by removing its karma obstacles. ■ In 
euoh knowledge the soul's consciousness becomes imme- 
diately related to obj«cts, without the medium of senses, 
etc., simply by the removal of the karmas that pre- 
vented it from reaching those objects. 1 Three different 
kinds of such really immediate knowledge are distin- 
guished. When a person has partially destroyed and 
allayed the influences of karmas, he 
iiXte Dd kn^S£ squires the power of knowing 

— ftVBdhi, m*n»hpw- objects which have forms, but are 
yftya and kevala. ' 

too distant or minute or obscure to 
be observed by the senses or manas. Such immediate 
knowledge by the unaided soul is* however, limited as 
its objects are limited and, therefore, il is qalled 
avadhijnana (limited knowledge). Again, when a person 
lias overcome hatred, jealousy, etc. (which create 
obstacles that stand in the way of knowing other 
minds), he can have direct access to the present and 
past thoughts of others. This knowledge is called 
manah-paryaya (entering a mind). But when all 
karmas that obstruct knowledge are completely remov- 
ed from the soul, there arises in it absolute knowledge 
or omniscience. This is called kevala-jfiana. Only 
the "liberated souls have such knowledge. 1 

1 Early Jaina writers like Umasvami confine ' aparokss ' only to 
tbe soul's immediate knowledge without any medium. Later writers 
like Hemncandra extend it) to ordinary Beose-perception as well, as most 
other Indian logicians do. To justify the narrower sense ' akea ' is 
interpreted as ' jiva ' and not ' indriya ' as ordinarily explained {vide 
QDnaratna's Com. on Jod-doriono, Terse, 65). 

1 Vide Tattv&Tthadhigama-sMra, Chap. I, sutrae9, 12, 81-20, 



These are, then, the three kinds of extraordinary 
/ or extra-sensory perceptions which 

Ordinary immediate are immediate "par excellence. But 
frige. kD ° W ' in addition to these, there are the 

two kinds of ordinary knowledge 
possessed by an average person. These are called mati 
and sruta . * There are differences of opinion among 
Jaina writers regarding ihe exact meanings of these 
terms. But ordinarily, mati is taken to mean any 
kind of knowledge which we can obtain through the 
senses or through manas. 1 Thus understood, mati 
includes ordinary immediate knowledge (or internal and 
external perception) .'memory, recognition and infer- 
ence,. 2 Sruta is knowledge obtained from authority. 

The Jamas give an account of the process by which 
ordinary perception takes place and is retained." At first 
there is only a distinct sensation, say of a sound. It is not 
yet known what it means. This primary state of con- 
sciousness is called avagraha (i.e., grasping the object). 
Then arises the query: "What is this sound?" This 
questioning state of the mind is called ihi, (i.e., query). 
Then comes a definite judgment like " This is the sound of 
a car." This is called Svfvya (removal of doubt). Then 
what is ascertained is retained in the mind. This retention 
is called dharani (i.e., holding in the mind). 

Sruta, the second kind of ordinary knowledge is mostly 
interpreted as knowledge obtained from what is heard from 
others. 4 This includes all kinds of knowledge derived 
from spoken or written authority. As the understanding 
of any authority is dependent on the perception of sounds 
or written lettersi sruta is said to be preceded by mati. 

It is pointed out, further, that these two kinds of ordi- 
nary knowledge (namely, mati and sruta), as well as the 
lowest kind of immediate extraordinary knowledge 
(namely, avadhi), are not absolutely free from chances of 

> /bid., 1. It. * Ibid., 1.13. » /bid., 1.15. * Ibid., 1.30. 


error. But the»tVo higher kiada of immediate extra-sea- 
sory knowledge (manahparyfiya and kevala) are never liable 
to any error. 

For ordinary purposes, the Jainas accept the general 
view that there are three i>ramanas, namely, perception, 
inference and testimony (i.e. authority). 1 

2. The Carvaka View Criticised 

In accepting non-perceptual sources of knowledge 

like inference and testimony, the Jaina writers feel it 

necessary to justify their view by refuting the Carvaka 

vheovy that perception is the orriy source of valid 

knowledpe. 2 They ask : If a Carvaka were called 

upon to show why even per- 
Inference is not in- , . , , , . , ' . , ■■ 

valid. Even the Car- ceplion should not be rejected, as 

vska theory preeup invalid source of knowledge, 

poses inference. ° 

what would he say ? He would 
either remain silent and thus confess that he lias no 
reason to support his view, or hold that perception is 
valid because it is not misleading. If he adopts the 
first course, his view is a mere ipse dixit, an opinion 
unsupported by reason, and, therefore, not acceptable. 
If he adopts the second alternative, then he supports 
his view by a reason, and therefore, he ie himself 
taking the help of inference, Besides, if the 
Carvaka admits that perception is valid because it ih 
uncontradicted and not misleading, for similar reasons 
iofer6nce~an3 testimony also should be accepted. If the 

1 Vide Nyayavatara-vicfU (p. i, 6. C. Vidyabbusana's ed.) : 
' pramanani pratyaksaDumSna-sabdani.' 

9 Prameya-kamala-mManda, Cbap. 2 iNirnaya-Sagara Press>; 
SyUeOda-maffjari, verse 20, and Hemacnndra'e Com. thereon. 



Carvaka says to this, that inference an* /estiniony. are 
sometimes misleading, then it is possible to point out 
that even perception is sometimes misleading. So the 
only reasonable conclusion is that any source of know- 
ledge, be it perception or inference or testimony, should 
be regarded as valid in,so far as it yields a knowledge 
that does not prove misleading. • The criterion of 
validity should be the harmony (samvada) of knowledge 
with the practical consequences to which it ieads. 

Moreover, when the Carvaka denies the existence 
of non-perceptible objects like life-after-death, he goes 
beyond perception and infers the non-existence of the 
objects from the fact of their non-percept:on. Even 
wheiv the Carvaka says about perception in general 
that it is valid, he goes beyond the perceived cases 
of perception found to be valid in the past and infers, 
from general similarity, something about the future 
unpercoived cases of perception as well. Similarly, 
when Carvaka argues with his critics, he infers their 
thoughts from their expressions ; for ^otherwise the 
Carvaka could not take part in any discussion. Hence 
the Carvaka view that perception is the only valid 
source of knowledge, is not correct. 

3. The Jaina Theory of Judgment 

(i) Syadvada or the Theory that Every Judgment 
is Eelative 

The Ja,nas joint out that the different kinds of 

Bveij judgment ex- immediate and mediate knowledge 
presae* one aspect of » 

reality and is therefore that we possess about objects show 
leiatfTe and subject to . 

some condition. that every object has innumerable 


characters. 1 An omniscient being can obtain (through 
kevala-jfiaria) an immediate knowledge, of an object in 
all its innumerable aspects. But imperfect beings look 
at objects from onejgarticiilar point of view at a time 
and have consequently the knowledge of qnly one 
aspect or character of the thing.* Such partial know- 
ledge about some one of tbe N innumerable aspects of an 
object is called byrthe Jaina writers ' naya.' 2 Judgment 
(parSmaraa) based on such partial knowledge is also^ 
called a ' naya.' 3 Every judgment that we pass in 
daily life about any object is, therefore, true only in 
reference to the standpoint occnpitd and the aspect 
of the object considered. It is because we forget 
this limitation and regard our judgments as uncondi- 
tionally true, that we come to quarrel and disagree 
very often in life. The story of the blind men who 
formed their ideas of an elephant by touching its legs, 
ears, tail and trunk respectively and thus came to 
quarrel about the real shape of the animal, illustrates 
this truth. They quarrelled because each thought 
that his knowledge was the only true and complete 
knowledge and should be accepted unconditionally. 
The quarrel wa6 over as soon as each of them realized 
that his knowledge was only one of the many parts of 
the animal. 

1 Vide $a4-dariana-samuccaya, 55 : "anantidbartDakarii vaata, etc." 
and Gunaratna'a Com. 

! Vide Ny&y&val&ra, verse 29 •' " EkadeBa-visisto'rtboDajasya visajo 
mat ah." 

' '* uajati prapayuti eatiivedacam arohayati, it) uajab. pramaga. * 
praTrtteruUarakSlabliavl paT&maisab," tiyayavatata-vit.. 28. 


The various systems of philosophy which give 

different accounts of the universe 

pUWpS ' y wpM*Bc°t similarly occupy different points 

different partial aspects f Y i ew and discover the different 
of reality. 

aspects of the many-Bided nniverte. 
They quarrel because ftiey do not bear in mind that 
each account in true only from its own standpoint, 
and if? subject to certain conditions. They faii to 
realize, therefore, that (lie different views may be true 
like the different descriptions of the elephant, 
-v In view of these facts, the Jainas insist that every 

Every judgment should 'Judgment (naya) should be qualified 
be qualified by some by some word like 'somehow' (syat, 

word 'like ' somehow -t^- ..--- — 

(eyati, expressing con- Ke. in some respect), so that the 

1 I0D t B * 3 ' limitation of this judgment and 

the possibility of other alternative judgments from 

other points of view may be always clearly borne 

in mind. For example, instead of a judgment 

like " The elephant is like a pillar," it should be 

said, to remove the chance of confusion , ''Somehow 

(i.e. in respect of its legs), the elephant is like a 

pillar." Similarly, on perceiving a black earthen 

jug existing in a room at a particular time, we should 

not assert unconditionally, " The jug exists," but 

should rather say, " somehow, the jug exists," which 

would remind us that the judgment is true only 

with regaid to the many conditions of space, time 

quality, etc., under which the jug exists. The qualified 

I judgment " Somehow, the jug exists" (syad ghatah 

| aeti) would prevent the possibility of the misapprehen- 

i sion that the pot exists at ail times or in every place, or 

• that a pot of any other colour, shape, etc., exists. The 


: unqualified judgment, "The jug exists," leaves the 
' possibility of such misapprehension. 

This theory of the Jainas has come to be known as 
Byad vada. It ia the view that 
B,fiS» VieW " cMti ^ry~~o7dinary judgment (passed 
by iinperfrftt minds like ours) holds 
good only of the particular aspect of the object judged 
and of the point of view from which the judgment 
is passed. 

This Jaina view is quite in keeping with the view 
accepted bv Western logicians gener- 

taSiba. 1 W.KE ,,u * T" dh * hBt .' v 7' y jud ? ment iB t 

view that every judg- passed w a particular universe of 
mrat relates to s discourse 01: context and must be 
particular universe of understood only in reference thereto. 
stiS»^°oo °° n The urivei ' Ee of discourse is consti- 
tVbe e r n enHon l e d. m * 07 tuted by different factors like* space, 

time , degree , quality, etc., wbicusire 
left uumeutioned partly because tney are obvious and 
partly because they are too many to be statad exhaus- 
tively. Now, if these conditions cannot be exhaustively 
enumerated, ,as some modern logicians like SchiHar also 
admit, it is good for the sake of precision to qualify the 
judgment explicitly by a word like ' somehow ' (syatj. 
The principle underlying ' syadvftdu ' makes Jainn 

thinkers catholic in their outlook. 
Jaina iS ""^il™* 1 !? 8 Tljey entertain and acoe P fc tfa e views 
oatholicandtol«Mt. 7 of other pbilosophers as different 

possible versions of the universe from 
different points of view. The only thing that the Jainas > 
dislike in other thinkers is the dogmatic claim of each 
that he alone is jn the right. This claim amount s to the 
fallacy of exclusive predication (ekanta-viida). Against 
such a fallacy of philosophical speculation a protest has 
been raised recently in America by the Neo-reaIist8_ v»ho 
have called it the fallacy of exclusive particularity. 1 But 
no Western or Eastern philosopher bas so earnestly tried 
to avoid this error in practice as the Jainas have done. v 

1 The New Realism, pp. 14-15. 


(it) Saptabhafiglnaya or the Seven iforms of 

J Ordinarily, logic distinguishes two kinds of jadg- 
_ . meut, affirmative and negative. 

Theieven forms of , . 

conditional predira- The jamas distinguish seven kinds 

of judgment including these two. 
Any object may be described affirmatively by a judg- 
ment which predicates of it any of the characters it 
possesses, or it may be described negatively by a 
judgment which denies of it characters belonging to 
other objects but absent in this. 1 These two are the 
affirmative and negative judgments ordinarily recog- 
nized rbut the Jainas qualify each with ' somehow ' 
(syat)to emphasize its conditional or relative character. 
Affirmative judgments about a jug, for example, would 
be like ' somehow the jug is in the room ' (i.e. in the 
room at & particular place and at a particular time, and 
as a jug of a particular description) ; ' somehow the 
jug is red * (i.e. not always red but only during a 
particular time or under particular circumstances and 
the red is of a specific shade, etc.). The general form 
of all affirmative judgments can 

p Mi at S aSi) h0W B " then be s y mbolicall y represented 
as ' somehow StsP' (syat asti). 
Again, negative judgments about an object would be 
like ' somehow the jar is not outside the room ' (mean- 
ing that the jar of that particular kind, at that particu- 
lar time, etc., is not outside); ' somehow the jar is not 

* ,! Vide Gontralua's Com, op. eit. (pp. 219-26, Asiatic Soc, ed.) t 
fba dvidha wmbsndbo'siitrena nastitvena ca. Tatra svaparyayairas- 
titvena sariibandhaJj paraparyajaistii nastiWena." 


black ' (i.e. . ilot bJack at that particular space and 
time and under these conditions, 

Ji-'SSfiZS* etc -> We find then that the 

general form of all negative judg- 
ments is ' someho w S is no t B ' (syat nasti). 

When, "however, we have ^o describe the complex 

,«» . „ t c .' fact that the jar is sometimes red 
(8) ' Somehow S u ' 

and alio ii not P ' and sometimes not, we must have 

(ayat agti ca nasti ca). i • j . i-i < 

a* compound judgment like some- 
how the jar is and also is not red.' The general form 
of this judgment would, therefore, be ' somehow Si*^ 
and^alsoj^not P ' (syat abli ca n^sti caj. TTiis is the 
third v form of judgment recognized by Jaina logic. 
This form is obtained by combining successively the 
points of view of the first two judgments into one 
composite point of view. The necessity of such 'com- 
pound judgment lies in the need of a comprehensive 
view of the positive and the negative character of an 

A jar is black when raw, and red when it is baked. 

But if we are asked, what is the 
'4) Somehow 8 is 
indescribable' (syat real colour of the jar always or 

avyam/. under all conditions, the only 

honest reply would be that the jar cannot be described 

then, i.e. under the conditions of the question. Under 

such circumstances when we are forced to predicate 

simultaneously, of any objecl , characters which are 

incompatible, being contraiy or contradictory, our judg-, 

ment, according to the Jainas, would be of the general 

form ' somehow S is indescribable ' (syat avaktavvam). 

This is "the fourth' kind of judgment recognized by. 

Jaina logic. 


Recognition of this fourth form of judgment is of 
great philosophical value. It points out, first, that though 
nn object can be described from different standpoints, . in 
different aspects separately or successively, it cannot he 
described at all, if no such distinction of standpoint and 
aspect is made. An object in general is an indescribable 
entity. Secondly, this also points out that philosophical 
wisdom does not always consist in the ability to answer a 
question by a straight ami-motive or negative, but also in 
hsing that some questions, by their very nature, are 
answerable. Thirdly, the recognition of this fovm of 
judgment Bhows that the Jaina logic does not violate the 
principle of contradiction. On the contrary, it shows that 
obedience to this law makes the Jaina confess that incom- 
patible characters cannot be simultaneously predicated 
of any subject in the same aspect. 

The other three,' of the seven forms of judgment, 

ate obtained by combining sue- 

P and ta 8 °3£°todLt cessi vely each of the first three 

cribabie,' Uyst agti ca, standpoints with the fourth. Thus 
avaktavyam cb). 

by combining the first and the 

fourth successively, we get the fifth form of judgment, 

'somehow S is P and is also indescribable ' (syaA asii 

ca, avaktavyam ca). When we consider together, 

from a comprehensive point of view, the fact that a 

jug is sometimes red, but also that without reference 

to any particular time or state it canuot be described 

as having any predicable character, our judgment is 

' of the form, ' The jug is somehow red but is also 

■6i ' Somehow S is somehow indescribable.' Similarly, 

SStf'Jit-S ™mWniug again the seconded 

e«, avaktavyam ca). the fourth standpoint successively 
we have the sixth judgment of the general form, ' some- 
.„ . c , . „ how S is not P anil is al«X-in». 

• 7) ' Somehow S is P, ,- ' \, , , , V - • ^~-»~ 

also is not p ana in in- describable \syat nasti ca, avak- 
describable too ' (syat ~' ,V\ > T . ... 

•ati oa, nagti ca, lavyam ca). Lastly, combining 

ayaktavyaih ca). successively the third with the 



fourth point of view, we get the seventh form of 

judgment, ' Somehow S is P, also w not P, and is in- 
describable too ' (syat asti ca, nasti ca 1 , avaktavyam ca). 

If we combine simultaneously any of the first three 

points of view with the fourth, instead 

No other form is pos- of doing M successively, we shall 

' have in each case the simultaneous 
predication of incompatible characters (like ' is and is 
indescribable '; or ' is not and is indescribable '; or ' is 
is not and is indescribable '). Hence in each case the 
judgment would be the same in form as in the fourth case, 
namely, ' Somehow S is indescribable ' (syat avaktavyam). 
Thereforei though there are innumerable aspects of every 
thing, the forms of judgment would be only seven, neither 
more nor less. 

' To sum up, Jaina logic recognizes die following 
seven kinds of conditional judgment (saptabhangl- 
naya) : 

•■ (1) Somehow, S is P s(yai asti). 
_ ,("2) Somehow. S is not P (syat nasti). 
r (8) Someliow, S is P, and is also not P (syat asti ca 
i\at,li ca). 

r (4) Somehow, S is indescribable (syat avakta- 

,.. (5) Somehow. S is P. and is also indescribable 
(syat asti ca avaktavyam oa). 

(6) Somehow, S is not P. and is also indescribable 
(syat nasti ca avaktavyam ca). 

(7) Somehow, 8 is P, and is also not P, and also 
indescribable (syat asti ca nasti ca avaktavyam ca). 

The Jaina doctrine of syadvada is sometimes compared 

with the pragmatism of some Western 

t SySdvida is realistic thinkers. It is true that a pragmatic 

pwgmatto ' n ° fc logician, like Schiller, also recognizes 

the truth that no judgment is true 

X8— 1605B 



or false without particular reference to its context and 
purpose. Even a so-called self-evident judgment, like 
' A square is not a circle ' or ' Two and two ate four, ' is 
true only in a specific sense, according to Schiller. This 
is a striking point of resemblance. But there fer a very 
great difference also which should not be forgotten. The 
Jainas are realitts, but the pragmatists have a distinct 
^idealistic bjns. According to the Jainasj the different 
judgments about nn object are not simply different sub- 
jective ideas of the object, but they reveal the different real 
aspects of the object. The Jainns would accept, therefore, 
a realistic view of truth * which is rejected by nil thorough- 
going pragmatists. 

The Jaina syiidvada is sometimes compared with the 
Western theorv of relativity. There 
Itisakindofrelsti- f i re two kinds "of relativity, idealistic 
vism, but is realistic < » t> , . T , , , i_-ii \ 

and not idealistic. ( flR of Protagoras, Berkeley, Schiller), 

and realistic fas of Whitehead or 
Boodin). And if the Jaina is to be called a relativist, ho 
must< be understood to bo of the realistic type. Our 
judgments about things are relative — but relative to or 
dependent upon not simply the mood of the judging mind, 
but upon the relational characters of the many-sided 
reality itself. 

Another misunderstanding often found' is the intcr- 

T . . ... protation of the Jaina word ' syivt ' 

It is not scepticism. , , , rrL . ,, . ' 

as may be. This would impart a 

sceptical or agnostic form to the Jaina theory, and make 

it look like the view of the Greek sraptin Pyrrl^ ™br» also 

recommended the qualification of every judgment with a 

phrase like 'maybe.' But it should be noted that the 

Jaina is not a sceptic. Ifr is not the u ncertainty _pf a 

ju dgm ent, but its conditional or relative character, that is 

^xpressecT B y" the a ddition of ]bhe ^uairfyiug'~p'afticTe * syat.' 

oubject to" trie "cdndltlons or the" universe" oT' discourse 

under which any judgment is made, the judgment is valid 

beyond all doubt. There is, therefore, no room for 

scepticism. y ' 

1 ' Yathavasthitftrthavyavasayarupaih hi sariivedanarii pramanaro '-— 
Prameyakamalamartantjn, p. 41, 



111. The Jaika Metaphysics 

The Jainas hold that every object known by us Las 

innumerable characters iananta- 
Every object is found ,, , , . T , . , 

to possess innumerable dhanuakam vastu). Let us try to 

characters, positive understand, a little more clearly 

ind negative. » > J 

' the implication of this view. 
Every object is what it is because of its positive and 
negative characters. TJie jwsitive characters which 
determine, for example, an object like a man, mt his 
*ize, colour, shape, weight, constitution, heredity, 
family, race, nationality, education, employment, place 
of bhth, date of birth, habitation, age, etc., and the 
numberless relations he bears to the uncountable other 
objects of the world. The negative characters which 
determine the man consist of what lie is not*. ^To 
know him fully, we should know how he is distinguish- 
ed from everything else ; we should knowT' for 
example, that he is not a European nor a Chinese, nor a 
Negro, etc.. fhat he is not a Christian, nor a Mohamme- 
dan nor a Zoroastrian, etc., not dishonest, not foolish, 
not selfish, etc. As the negative characters of the 
man consist in his distinctions from all other objects in 
the universe, the number of these would, therefore, be 
far greater than that of the. positive characters. 1 

If we consider, then, an object in the light of its 
own positive characters and also in 

Moreover, it acquires ihe l '* h{ o1 ' the characters of all 

new characters with ther objects which are absent in it, 
changes in time. 

the object would no longer appear to 

1 " slokah svaparyayuh paraparyayastu vyavrttirupa aaanta, 
anantebhyo dravyebbyo vyavittilval, " Gnnaratnaon Sad., verse 55. 



be a simple thing having, only a limite'd number of 
qualities, as we ordinarily take it to be. The object, on 
the contrary, turns out to be one possessed of unlimited 
characters. But when, moreover, Hie element of time 

Ik taken into consideration, and it 
i„SbS haS iR remembered that the object takes 

on new characters 'with the change 
of time, the object is found really to possess infinite 
characters (anantadharma) . 

Jaina writers, therefore, remark thai lie who knows 

one object fully, knows every thing. 

Ouly the omniscient Oily an omniscient person (kevall) 
•' can, therefore, kuow , , . . . , , 

nn object fullj can have such complete knowledge 

of an object. For practical pur- 
poses (vy a vahara) a partial knowledge oi what an object 
is or is not. is, oi course, quite sufficient. But this 
should not make us think, as we do. that a finite object 
is really possessed of limited characters. Nor should 
we think that our ordinary knowledge about it is com- 
plete and perfect. 

1. The Jaina Conception of Substance 

We have just seen that objects have many 
... . characters. As in common con- 

A substance is possess- 
ed of some uoebang- versation so also in philosophy 
ins essential characters . . . n , . 
(gnoM) and changing a distinction is made between 
modea (paryayas). lhe tharacterg (dharma) and that 

which possesses the characters (dharmi). The latter 
is generally called a substance (dravya). The Jainas 
accept this common philosophical view of substance. 
But they point out that there are two kinds of charac- 
ters found in every substance, essential and accidental. 


The eshential •characters of a substance remain in the 
substance as lung a9 the substance remains. Without 1 
these the substance will cease to be what il is. Con- 
sciousness, for example, is an essential character of the 
soul. Again, the accidental characters of a substance < 
come and go ; they succeed one, another. Demres, voli- 
tions, pleasure aifd pain are such accidental characters 
l>ussessed by the soul-substance. It is II trough such 
characters that a substance undergoes change 01 
modification. Thej may also be called, therefore, 
modes. The Jainas call an essential unchanging charac- 
ter guya, and an accidental, chaogiug character paryaya 
or paryaja. A substance is defined, therefore, as 
that which possesses qualities (gunas), as well as modes 
(paryayas). 1 

The world is composed o( substances oi different 
kinds, in so far as the essential 

Chaugi aud jwruu- characters ol the ultimate sub- 
nenee it, therefore ., 

hothreai. stances aic abiding, the world is 

' fiermaticnt, and in so far as the 

accidental characters undergo modification, the world 

also changes. The Jainas, therefore, hold that those 

philosophers like the Bauddhas, who pay that there is 

nothing leally permanent in the universe, and that 

everything chaDges from moment to moment (ksanika- 

vada), are one-sided and dogmatic. Equally mistaken 

also are philosophers like the monistic Vedantins, 

who declare that change is unreal and that Reality is 

absolutely uuchanging (nitya-vada).* Each of them 

looks at one aide (ekantal of realitv only and thus 

1 Gupa-paryayavad druvyam, Tat. ?iif., 5.8S 
' Sy&dvtidamafLJari, vew 2fi 



commits the fallacy of exclusive predication. Change 

and permanence are both real. It should not be 

thought contradictory to say that a particular substance 

(or the universe as a whole) is both subject to change 

and free from it. Change is true of the substance in 

one respect (syat), whereas permanence is true in 

another respect, (syat). The contradiction vanishes 

when we remember that each predication is relative 

and not absolute, as taught by syadvada. 

A substance is real (sai). Iieality consists of three 

_, , il factors: permanence, origination 

There are tin-, three ' *> 

factors present in ayd decay. In Bu hBtjmr-e . t fawrg is 

reality, viz. perma- ' . ■■ " " "~"~ 

nenee, origination and its uucliain .-iiig essence. a.nd. thero- 

(e ' ay ' * fore, i t is permanent ; there are 

a^am the ongin and decay of its changing modes 
(paryaya). Hence all the three demenls that charac- 
terize reality are there in a substance. 

Hy aowepting this criterion of reality the Jainas reject 

/ the Bauddha view that reality con- 

Causal efficiency can- sists in causal efficiency, '•"■ that an 

not be a mark ot real- object is real if it is capable of 

ity, as Bauddhas tbink. causing any effect. The Bauddha 

criterion is faulty, because according 

to it, even an illusory snake must be called real as it can 

cause effects like fear, flight, etc. 

Th. BauJdha ihcary Frora th ' 8 fault y criterion tff reality 

of momentariness is the Bauddhas deduce the theory of 

also untenable. the momentariuess of things, which, 

therefore, turns out to be fallacious. 

Against the one-sided theory of momentariness the Jainas 

also adduce the following arguments : ' 

\ (1) If every thing be momentary, the soul also would 

•^„ , „ be so, and then we could not explain 

tSss mCU ' memory, recognition, the immediate 

feeling of personal identity, etc. (2) 

1 Sa.vadarsana-sahgraha, Ch. on Jaina, and Gunaratna's Com. on 
?a</ , 52. 


Liberation would then be meaningless, because (here would 
be no permanent soul to be liberated. (3) No moral life 
would be possible then, because a momentary person could 
not attempt to attain any end. The work of the person 
who would begin an effort would bring about a fruit that 
would be enjoyed by the person succeeding him. (4) Con- 
sequently there would be no moral law ; the consequences 
of one's own action would be list to him (irtapranasa) 
and the coneequetfees of another man's action would be- 
fall him (akrtabhyupagnroa). (5) Mere momentary states 
would not even constitute any individual scries, because 
without something permanent running through the chang- 
ing modes, the different changing states cannot be held 
together to form a continuous individual. (6) Neither 
perception nor inference reveals the existence of any thing 
in the world in which there is only change and no element 
of continuity. 


2. Classification of Substances 

Tin' broadest classification of substances, according 
to tin 1 Jaina, is into the. extended 
n L ub n^?,n7^ Ddf,d '""'1 I'" 4 iion-exteiidwl. There is 

and non-extended., 

only one substance, namely, time 

(kiila). which is devoid of extension. All other 

substances possess extension. They are called by the 

general name astikaya, because every substance of 

thiB kind exists (asti) like a body (kaya), possessing 

extension. 1 

Substances |»osseFBin^ extension (astikayas) are 

The living and the subdivided into two kinds, namely, 

n ° n - livit, e- the living (jiva) and the non-living 

1 Vide Dnvya-sahgtaha, 24. According to Gunaratna, however, 
1 astikaya ' means a collection of indivisible partB of space. 


(ajiva). Living substances (jivas) are identical with 
souls or spirits. The souls again can 

iSe^ ftDd th6 b « classified into those that are 
emancipated or perfect (mukta) and 

those that are in bandage (baddha)'. The souls in 
• bondage are again of two kinds. 

The moving and the ^ th t capable of movement 

non-moving. r 

(irasa) and those that are immobile 
(sthavara). The immobile living substances have the 

most imperfect kinds of bodies, 
immobile™ living^! They live in the five kinds of bodies 

stances having oniy „| a de of earth, water, fire, air or 
one sense. 

plants respectively. They have only 
the sense of louch ; they possess, therefore, tactual 
consciousness. The mobile living substances have 

bodies of different decrees of perfec - 

The mobile living 

substances having two lion and variously possess two. 

to five senses. . » - „ . 

three, tour or five senses. SouIb or 
living substances like worms Have two s<\nses, namely, 
those of touch and taste, those like ants have three 
senses, namely, those of touch, taste and smell ; those 
like bees possess four senses, namely, those of touch, 
taste, smell and si^ht. Higher animals like beasts, 
birds and men have five senses, namely, those of 
lonch. taste, smell, sight and hearing. 

Non-living substances possessing extension are 
dharrna, adharma, akasa and pudgala. 

SyidvUda, 22, and also Gtnnaratna's Com. on Qaif., 49. 


The foilowing table will clearly show the above 
scheme of classification : 

Substance (dravya) 

Extended (aitikayn) Non-exbsnded (anastikaya), 

| e.g. time (kala) 

Animate (jlva) Inanimate (ajlve) 

Emancipated Fettered Dharma Adharma Xkftsa Pudgala 
(muktaj (baddhaj i 

-"I . i 

| | ft,,-- | 

Moving (trasa) Non-moving (sthavaral Atoms (anu) of .Compounds 
e.g. those living in earth, water, fsanghata) 

bodies of eartb, etc. , fire, air. 

6-sense.d, 4-soosed, 3-gensed, 2-sensed, 

e g. men e.g. bees, e.g. anta e.g. worms 

3. The Soul or Jlva 

A jiva or a soul is a conscious substance. Con-* 

sciousness is the essence of the soul. 1 It is always 

present in the soul, though its 
Jlva ib a Bonl. 

nature and degree may vary. 

Souls may be theoretically arranged in a continuous 

1 Cetana-laksano jivah, Gunaratna on ?i>^., 47. ' Upayogo 
laksanam." Tat. S6t., 2.8. 




series according to the degrees of consciousness. 

At the highest end of the scale 

Souls have varying would be perfect souls that have 

knowledge". ,n ' ° overcome all karmas and attained 

omniscience. At the lowest end 
would stand the most imperfect souls .which inhabit 
bodies of earth, water, 6re, air or vegetable. 1 In 
them life and con scion snesa appear to be absent. But 
really even here consciousness of a tactual kind is pre- 
. sent; only consciousness is in a dormant form owing to 
the overpowering influence of karma-obstacles.* 1 
Midway between would lie souls having two to five j 
senses, Jike worms, ants, bees and men. 3 

It is the soul that knows things, performs activities, 
* enjoys pleasures, suffers pains, and\ 

The soul manifests ,„ . ... ,, , , , . , \ 

itself and others, it is illumines itself and other objects. 
oterno1 - * The soul is eternal, but it also* 

undergoes change of states. It is different from the I 
body and its existence is directly proved' by its con-/ 
sciousness of itself. 4 

Owing to the inclinations generated by its past 
Lik. a light the sonl aCti ° nS * ? lva C ° meS to illhabit diffe " 

pervades the entire rent bodies successively. Like SA 

body in which it live*. ,. , .. ... 

light it illuminates or renders con- 
scious the entire body in which it lives. Though it has 

1 Vaniapatjantanam ekam, Tat. Sut., 2.22. 

* Vide Gunaratna (Satf., 49) for elaborate arguments supporting the 
existence of life in plants and minerals. 

J Krmi-pipilika.bhiainara-inanusyadinam ekaikavrddhani, Tat. Sut., 

» Nyayavatara, verse 31 and Dravya-sangraha, verse 2, 


no form (mijrti), it acquires like a light the size and 
form of the* body wherein it lives. It is in this sense 
tha^jiva J J ; hough formless ,Js said to occu pjL-spaee^or 
poss ess exten sion. The jlva is not infinite but co- 
extensive with the body, as it can immediately know 
objects only within the body. Consciosnes8_js not 
present everywhere, but onl/ in the body* 1 > 

StudentB of Western philosophy find it difficult to 
understand bow u soul can possess 
occupy .pace? 8 ° U ' both consciousness and extension- 
qualities which are diametrically 
opposed, according to Descartes. Extension, DeBcartes • 
thinks, is the exclusive quality of iriterial substances, and 
consciousness is the exclusive qiaality of the soul. But 
the bouI, as proved by Descartes, is essentially ' a thinking 
being ' » and ' thought ' seems to have no connection with 
space or matter. But the Jainas conceive the soul 
primarily as a living being (jiva). Consciousness is found 
in every part of a living body, and if consciousness* be the 
character of the soul, the soul should be admitted to be 
present in every part of the body and, therefore! to occupy 
space. The soul's ability to pervade space is admitted by , 
other Indian thinkers, as also by many Greek philosophers I 
like Plato, and even by some modern realistic philosophers 
like Alexander. It should be borne 
The soul does not • mi d however, that a soul's occu- 
fill space like matter. . .. 

pymg space simply means its presence 

in the different parts of apace and not _ fiMj aa-— apace 
likea mat erial bo dy. A material body fills a part of space 
msuonaway that while it is there, no other matter can 
occupy it. But a soul's presence in a particular space does 
not prevent another soul^a— p reseng g, 

like raht" 8 " 11 * ' n BpaCe *— re; two ^J°JilSuJaa^.^4affls5QEat. 
18 ' the samfl4>laee i th e Jai gaa-noiafc-oat, 

just as two lights can ill umine the same area. 

" The Jaina philosophers leel it" necessary to meet the 
Carvaka views regarding the soul. Gunaratna, a great 

1 Vide 8yid.. 8. and Tat. Sul., 5.16: " Pradega-satiiharaviaarpa. 
bhyatu pradlpavat." 


Jaina thinker, gives elaborate arguments to /neet Carvaka 
scepticism and prove the existence of the soul. We may 
state here the purport of his arguments. 

The existence of the soul is directly proved by such 
uncontradicted immediate experience 
Proofs {ort beexie- as 'I feel pleasure.' When we per- 
tenceoTth^joDl. ceive the quality of a substance, we 

* say, wt> percene the substance. For 

example, on seeing a rosy colour we hold that we perceive 
the substance rose, to which the 
The soul is imme- colour belongs. On similar grounds 
diatelyjknow^in^the we can hold that the soul is directly 
§ST£eTl«Bo». qU * ' perceived, because we immediately 
perceive such characters of the 
soul as pleasure, pain, remembrance, volition, doubts, 
knowledge, etc. The existence of the soul may also be 
indirectly proved by inferences like the following: The 
body can be moved and controlled 
It is also knowable, at will lite a 08rj and( therefore, there 

^aTuttJt"* «>ust «» some one that moves and 
controls it. The senses of sight, 
hearing, etc., are only instruments, and there must b^ 
some agent who employs them. Again, there must be 8om< 
efficient came or producer of the body, because materi 
objects which have a beginning are found to require] 
some agent for shaping their material cause. Thus 
in different ways the existence of a substance like 
the soul can also foe inferred. The 
The Carrska view Carvaka holds that consciousness is' 
that Mconscious mate- the product of the material elements. 
£?S2lSZ s Pr £ But we never perceive anywhere the 
not verified by pereep- generation of consciousness by the 
tion, unconscious material elements. The 

Cary&ka believes that perception is 
the only valid source oTTmowledge. How can he then 
believe in what perception fails to show? Even if 
inference were accepted as valid by the Carvaka, it would 
not prove that consciousness is the 
nor by inference. effect of matter or the material body. 

Because, if the body were the cause 
of consciousness, there would be no absence of conscious- 
ness so long as the body existed, and consequently, loss of 
consciousness in sleep, swoon, or in a dead body would be 
impossible. Besides, we find that there is no rel.i tion of 


concomitant variation between the body and consciousness, 
the development and decay of the body are not invariably 
followed by corresponding changes of consciousness. So 
no causal connection between matter and consciousness \ 
can be proved even by inference. The Carvaka would J 
perhaps say that, though every kind of matter does not 
produce consciousness, yet when matter is organized into a 
living body, it produces consciousness. In reply to this 
it is pointed out that, but for fjtme organizer, matter 
would not be formed into a living body, and that this 
organizer is the soul itself. Judgments like ' I am stout ' 
' I am thin,' on which the Carvaka tries to prove that 
the soul is identical with the body, must be understood 
figuratively and not literally. The soul sometimes treats 
the body as itself, because it is intimately interested in 
the body. Again, if the soul were absolutely unreal, the 
negative judgment ' there is no soul in the body ' would be 

unintelligible. Denial Of SQ m"**"'"g in 'nny plnnn impliftJ 

the knowledge of its existence somewhere in some form/' 
ApaFi&envftH other arguments, to; Bay ^that. * my self) 
does' not exist ' Is aB absurd as to "say ' my mother is\ 
barren ' or 1 'this sun, the giver of light, does not/ 

4. The Inanimate Substances or Ajivas 

The physical world in which souls live is constituted 
by the material bodies that (he 

The five inanimate , i n .1 • 1 

substances : matter, S0l1,s wcupy and tne other material 

time, space, dharma objects that form their environ- 
and ailbarmii. ' 

ment. But in addition to these 

material substances, there are space, time and the 

conditions of motion and rest, without which the 

world and its events cannot be fully explained. Let us 

consider these different substances one by one. 

' Yannisidhyate tat samgDyeua vidyate eva.' Gugaratna od 
atf., 48-40. 


(i) Matter or Pudgala ^ 

Matter in Jaina philosophy is called pudgala, 

which etymologically means ' that 

.^"Virofrm! which is liable 'to integration 

binaiion and s^para- au fi disintegration.' l Material sub- 

tion " 

stances can combine together to 
form large and iarger wholes, and dan also break up 
into smaller and smaller parts. The smallest parts of, 
matter which cannot be further divided, being part- 
lese, are called atoms (ami). Two or more such atoms 
may combine together to form compounds (sanghata 
or skandha)^ Our, bodies and the objects of nature are 
such compounds of material atoms. Mind (manas), 
speech arid breath are also the products of matter. 8 j 
A material substance (pudgala) possesses the four 
qualities of touch, taste, smell and 

Tiey have the quo. . . _ ,. . 

Utie» of touch, taste, colour. These qualities are \ 
•me an cooor. possessed by atoms and also by/ 

their products, the compounds. Sound is not an 
original quality like these four, as most other Indian 
philosophers hold . The Jaina points out that sound 
along with light, heat, shadow, darkness, union, 
disunion, fineness, grossness, shape is produced later 
by the accidental modifications of matter. 4 

(ii) Space or Akasa-^ 

The function of space is to afford room for the exis- 1 
tence of all extended substances/' 

foSnefln! 8 T00t " Sou1, matter, dharma and adharmV 
all exist in space. Though space 

1 ' PSrayanti galanti oa,' Saivada'iana, III. 

* Tat. tut., 6.19. 3 Ibid., 6.23, 4 Ibid., 5.34. 



is imperceptible, its existence is known by an 
inference like the following : Substances which are 
extended can have extension only in some place, and 
that is called akasa. Though to be extended is the 
very nature of some substances, and no substance 
which lacks that nature can be 1 made extended by 
space, yet it is also true that, to^ be extended a sub- 
stance requires space, as a necessary condition. / 
It should not be thought that extension is explained 
fully by substances extended, with* 

Without apace, sub- . ,. ., „ , 

stanees could not be out the supposition of "ome other 
" tended - condition like space. For, subs- 

tances are those that occupy or pervade, and space, is 
that which is occupied or pervaded. 1 Space is not the 
same as extension, as Descartes thought, but it is 'Jie 
locus of extension, or of extended things, as Locke held. 
The Jaina distinguishes two kinds of space, the space 
Filled .pace and containing the world where souls 
empty space. and the other substances live ^loka- 

kasa), and empty space beyond such world (alokakasa). 

(iii) Time or Kala 

Time (kala), as Umasvamf slates, makes possible the 

continuity, modification, movement, 
Time is the neoessur; , . , ,. , 

condition of duration, newness and oldnessot substances. 

n^nd , ofc.. neW ' Like s P ate > lime * ] »° i« inferred, 
though not perceived. It is inferred 
as the condition without which substances could, 
not have t he characters just men tioned, though 
it is true that time alone cannot cause a thing to 

1 Gunaratna on $a4., 49 

' Tat «flt.. 6.28 : ' vartana parisama-kriyah paratvaparatve ca 



have the characters. Without time si_jhij]g_carnnot 
e ndure or continue to exi st ; duration implies 
moments of time in which existence is prolonged. 
Modification or change of states also cannot 
be conceived without time. A mango can be green 
and ripe' only successively, i.e., at different moments of 
time ; and without the supposition of time-distinctions 
we cannot understand how a thing can possess such 
incompatible characters. Similarly, movement which 
implies the assumption of successive states by an object 
can be conceived only with the supposition of time. 
Lastly, the distinction between the old and the "new, 
the earlier and the later cannot be explained without 
time. These are, therefore, the grounds on which the 
existence of time can be inferred. 

The reason why time is not regarded as an astikaya 

is that time is one indivisible 

.Time in not extended subRtailcei ne and the same 

in space. 

time is present everywhere in the 
world. 1 Unlike all other substances called astikayas, 
time is devoid of extension in space. 

. Jaina writers sometimes distinguished between real 
time (paramarthika kala) and 

ricS e timi me a0d etDPi " em P irical or conventional time 
(vyavaharika kala, also called 
samaya). Continuit y or dura tion (vartana) is the mark 
of real time, whereas changes of all kinds are the marks 
of empirical time. It is this latter (samaya) which is 
conventionally divided into moments, hours, etc., and 
is limited by a beginning and an end. But real time is 

1 Ot>Qar>tnfton$a4., p. 168. 


formless ancUeWnal . By imposing conventional limita- 
tions and distinctions on real time, empirical time is 

Some Jaina teachers, Gunaratna observes, do not 
admit time as a separate substance, but regard it as a 
mode I'paryaya) of the other substances. 2 <• 

(fa) Dharma and Adharma 

Like space and time, these two substances also are 

inferentiidly proved to exist. Mobi- 
Dliarma and ailiarrau 

are the conditions of lity and immobility — motion and 

movement and rest. ' , , , „ , 

rest — arc the grounds or such 
inference. The Jaina argues that just as the move- 1 
ment of a fish in the river, though initialed by the. fish 
itself, would not he possible without the medium 
of water, which is, therefore, a necessary condition/ 
similarly the movement of a soul or a materia^ 
thing requires some auxiliary condition, without which 
its motion would not be possible. Such a condition 
is the substance called dharma. Dharma can only 
favour or help the motion of moving objects ; it can-' 
not make a non-moving object move, just as water 
cannot make a fish move. Adharma, on the con- 
trary, is the substance that helps the restful state\ 
or immobility of objects, just as the shade of a( 
tree helps a traveller to rest, or the earth supports! 
things that rest on it. It cannot, however, arrest the 
movement of any moving object. Dharma and adharma, 

1 Dravya-sahgraha, 21, 
* 0od., p. 162. 

15— 1605B 


though thus opposed, are also similar in so far as both 

are eternal , fnrnilfnn» ""n™™""g 

They are fonniesB ^i hnii, pgwa.lp ffrg Pntire world- 
passive substances. __ _ i— ■ . 

space (JokakaBa). As conditions of 

motion and rest, both are passive, 1 and not active. 

Dharma and adharnia afe used here in these technical 

senses, and not in their ordinary moral senses (i.e. 

merit and demerit.) 2 

Regarding all the four substances — spuce, time, dhartna 
and adbarma — it, should be noted that 
Space, time, dbinna as causal conditions they all have a 
and adhanna are r*- peculiar BtatiiB. The causal conditions 
more and passive in- (karanas) may be distinguished into 
stromental conditions, three "chief kinds, a^ent (as potter is 
of the pot) and instrument (as the 
potter's wheel is of the pot) and material (as clay is of the 
pot)."' Space, time, etc., come under the eategory of instru- 
mental conditions but th^y should be distinguished f-om 
ordinary conditions of that kind, being more indirect and 
passive than ordinary instrumental conditions. Gunaratna 
gives them, therefore, a special name, apeksakarana. 3 The 
stone on which the potter's wheel rests ms\y be cited as a 
condition of this kind in relation to the pot. Space, time, 
etc., arc similar conditions. 

IV. The Jaina Ethics and Religion 

The most important part of Jaina philosophy is its 
Ethics. Metaphysics or epistemolo^y — in fact, know- 
ledge of any kind — is useful for the Jaina in so far as it 

helps him io right conduct. The goal of right conduct 

,-- --.-. ■■ ft 

1 ' Udaslnakarana '(Gunaratna, $a(f. , p. 172). 
* Cf." Dharmadayah safijnah samayikah," etc. {TativHrtharaja- 
vMtika, 5. 1. 17-18). 
3 Sad;, p. 162. 



again is salvation (moksa), which, means negatively 

removal of all bondage of the soul aud positively the 
•attainment of perfection, s' 

1 . Bondage of the Soul 

Bondage meanp, in Indian philosophy in general, the 

_, ~ , . ., „. liability of the individual to birth 
The soul in itself is 
possessed of infinite and all consequent sufferings. This 

general conception of bondage is 
differently interpreted by the different systems in 
the light of their ideas of tlie individual and the 
world. The suffering individual,' for the Jaina, is 
a jlva or a living, conscious substance called the soul. 
This soul is inherently perfect. It has infinite 
potentiality within. Infinite knowledge, infinite faith, 
infinite power and infinite bliss, can all be attained 
by the soul if it can only remove from within itself 
all obstacles that stand in the way. Just as the 
sun shines forth to illuminate the entire world as 
soon as the atmosphere is freed of cloud and fog, 
similarly the soul attains omniscience and the other 
perfections inherent, in it as soon as the obstacles are 
removed. But what then are these obstacles, and how 

do they come to rob the soul of its 
.sSed^ithTau" ■•*'" perfections? The ^obstacles, 

and thus its limitation the Jaiua asserts, are constituted 
or bondage occurs. 

by matter-particles which infect 

the soul and overpower its natural qualities. In 

other words, the limitations that we find in any / 

individual soul are due to the material body with/ 

which the soul has identified itself. The body'' 

is made of particles of matter (pudgala), and for 


the formation of a particular kind of bddy, particular 

kinds of matter-particles are to be arranged and 

organised in a particular way. In the formation of 

this body the guiding force is the. soul' town passions. 

Roughly speaking, a soul acquires the body that it 

inwardly craves for. The karma or the sum of the 

past life of a soul — its past thought, speech and 

activity — generates in it certain > 

seek satisfaction. These cravings 
in a soul attract to it particular sorts of matter- particles 
and organize them into the body unconsciously desired. 
The soul with its passions or karma-forces is, therefore, 
regaided by the Jaina as the organizer of the body, the 
efficient cause oi it, whereas matter (pudgala) is said 
to be its material cause. The organism which the soul 
thus acquires, consists not simply of the gross per- 
ceptible body, but also the senses, manas, the vital 
forces and all the other elements which curb and limit 
the soul's potentialities. 

The body that we have inherited from our parents 
is not a mere chance acquisition. 

JSTttafil^S 0ur P aKt k * rma determines the 

dividual ate nil due to family in which we are born as well 
karma. J 

as the nature of the body — its 
colour, stature, shape, longevity, the number and 
nature of sense organs and motor organs which it 
possesses. While all these, taken collectively, may 
be said to be due to karma, taken also in the collective 
sense (of the sum-total of all tendencies generated by 
past life), each of these taken separately may be said to 
be due to a particular kind of karma. The Jaina, 


therefore, speuks of the many karmas, and Dames each 
after the effect it produces. For example, gotra-karma 
is the karma that determines the family iuto which one 
is born, ayu-karma is the karma determining the 
length of life, and so on. Similarly, we are told of the 
karma that clouds knowledge* (jnauavaranlya), that 
which clouds faith (daruanavaraniya 1 , that which 
produces delusion (mohanfya), that which produces 
emotions of pleasure and pain (vedanlya), and so on. 

The passions which cause bondage are auger, pride, 

infatuation and greecl (krodha, 

The passions causing — = 1""; 7~Z~i" \"i mi 

bondage are anger, mana, maya, 'lobha). These are 

■nod infatuati0 " and called kasayas (i.e. sticky sub- 

stances), because the presence of 

these in the soul makes jnatter-particles stick to it. 

As the nature and number of material particles 

attracted by the soul depend on its 

The influx of kuiiia- k aniia t i, eb . e p ar ticies themselves 

mutter into the soul. ' * 

come to be called karma-mutter 

(karma-pudgaia) or even simply karma. The flow of 
such karma-matter into the soul is called, therefore, 
influx (asrava) of karma. 

Bondage, j n Jaina philosophy, comes, therefore"^ 

to mean the fact th at jiv a. infecledi 
Boodiige of the »oul ■ . . , ^~ . 

to matter is due to its with pas sions, takes up matter m 

bondage to bad dis- accordance with its karma." As' 
positions or passions. 

passion or bad disposition (bhava) 
of the soul is the internal and primary cause of 

1 Tot. sfii., 8. 9. 

' Tat. tul., 8. 2 : "sakai?iyatvi,j-jivah kanuano yogjan pudi/alau- 
adatte sa bandhah." 



bondage, and the influx of matter (a3rava)*into the soui 
is only the effect of it, the Jaina writers point out 
that bondage or fall of the soul begins in thought. 
They, therefore, speak sometimes of two kinds of 
bondage: ft) internal or idj&LJaundage, *'.«. the 
soul's bondage to bad disposition (bhava-bandha) , and , 
(2) its effect, material bondage, i.e. tfie soul's actual 
association with matter (dravya-bandha). 

The interpenetration of mutter and soul (which, 

according to the Jaina, is the nature 

Xnter(>eiieiratioii of of bondage) would appear to be crude 

^vedb "tte^wnct t0 BOme - BUt W6 sh ° uld beSr m mmd 

of° Ve conKiou8uear n m that the soul, for the Jaina, J* not 
ever; part of the bodj. devoid of extension, but co-extensive 
with the living body. The soul is the 
jiva, the Jiviny beinj; ; and in every part of the living body 
we find matter as well as consciousness and, therefore, 
the "compvesenee or iat^rjJ&nelration of matter and the 
conscious living substance (i.e. the soul) id as good a iuct 
oi experience as the interpenetration of milk and water 10 
a mixture oi the two, or of fire and iron in a red-hot iron 
ball. 1 

2. Liberation 

If bondage of the soul is its association with matter, 
liberation must mean the complete 

Liberation is the dissociation of the soul from matter, 
expulsion of matter 

from the soul. This can be attained by stopping 

the influx of new matter into the.' 
soul as well as by complete elimination of the matter \ 
with which the soul has become already mingled. The 
first process is cailed sat i t vara (i.e. the stoppage of 
influx) and the second nirjara (i.e. exhaustion or wear- 
ing out of karma in the soul). 

' Guijoratnu, Com. on pa<?., p. 181. 


We have ueen that the passions or cravings of the 

soul lead to the association of the soul with matter. 

Looking into the cause of the passions themselves, we 

find that they ultimately spring 

eaufeol^HonV the from our ignorance. Our ignorance t 
about the re^l nature of our souls I 

and other things leads to anger, vanity, infatuation/ 

and greed. Knowledge alone can* 

^T^t!?™ ° an remove ignorance. The Jainas/ 
remove ignorance. ° 

therefore, stress the necessity of 
rig ht knowle dge (samyag-jiiana) or the knowledge of 
reality. Eight knowledge can be, obtained only by 

studying carefully the teachings of 
obSbl" n °fTom gt 'th: the omniKdent tirthankaras or 

teaching* of the omni teachers who have already attained 
acient tirtnankaras. ' 

libei^iuiiL-anxLarc, therefore, m to 
lead others out of bondage. But before we feel inclined 
to study their teachings, we must have a 'general 
acquaintance with the essentials of (he teachings and 
consequent faith in the competence of these teachers. 
This right sort of faitli based on general preliminary 

acquaintance(called samyag-darsanaj 
tofifSJS! ^ P^es the way for right knowledge 

(samyag-jfiana) and is, therefore, 
regarded as indispensable But m&rp Ir^nwlp^^ i s 
use less unless it- is put to practi ce. Right conduct 
(samyak-caritra) is, there fore, regarded b y the Jaina as 
the third indispensable conditio n of liberation. In right 

conduct, a man has to fifip |r "' hie 

efr^z^- ggte.jiia-tf"*'! i^s thougi^, 

speech and action, in the light of 
right knowledge. This en ables him to stop th e influx 
of new karma a nd eradicate old karmas, securing. 


gradually thereby the elimination of matter which ties 

the soul into bondage. 

Eight faith, right knowledge, and right conduct 

tt • t.. i n. have, therefore, come to be known 

Hence, right faith, ' ' 

right knowledge and j n Jaina ethics uk the three gems 

right conduct eon- , . 

Btitute the throe ..gems (trjratno) that shine in a good life. 

Of H ffOOd lifrT j n the very firgt s{ilra of ratmrth fi m 

dhigama-sfdra, UmasvamI states tin's cardinal teaching 
of Jainism : The nath io libera tku i 

lib^Hor, 0101 ' 5 Pr0dnCe 'ies _thiouRli right fa ith" knowle dge 
and conduct. 1 TJlberation is ihe 
joint effect of these three. 

Right faiih (samyag-dariana). — Umiiiviimi defines 

right faith as the attitude of respect (sraddhfi) towards 

truth. This faith may be inborn and 

liight faith is res- sl , on taneous in some; by others it 

pectTioi- (ruth. 1 i „ ■ j l 1 

r may oe acquired by learning or 

culture. 2 In auy case faith can arise only when the karmas 
that stand in its way {i.e. the tendencies that cause 
disbelief) are allayed or worn out. 

Tt should not be thought that Jainism wants its 

followers to accept blindly what is 

Tt is not blind faith, taught by the tirthahkaras. As Mani- 

bhadra, a Jaina writer, states, the 

attitude of the Jaina is rationalistic, rather than dogmatic, 

and it is summed up in the following dictum : I have no 

bias for Mahavira^ and none against Kabila and others'.. 

Reasonable words alone, arc acceptable to me," s wtibse-ever 

they" might be.'* 

The initial faith is a reasonable attitude, first, because 
it is based on some initial at quaint- 
It is the minimum ance and is proportionate to this, and 
will to believe, with gecondly, because without such faith 
c.°n ratnally'egt ' «'«* would be no incentive to further 
study. Even a sceptical philosopher, 

1 'Samyag-darSaoa-jnana-caritrfini moksa-roargah.' 

* Tat. tut., 1.2-8. 

3 Com. on ?arf., 44 (Cliowkbamba ed., p. 89,. 


who begins to" study something rationally, must possess 
some faith in the utility of his method and the subject 
he studies. 

Starting with a partial faith and studying further, 

if the beginner finds that the Jaina 

.3FTiJ? th C8n r re ; teachings are reasonable, his faith 
solt only from perfect ° m , T . , . , , . ., 

knowledge. increases. The Jama claims that the 

more one stndies these "views, the 

greater would faith' grow. Perfect knowledge would cause, 

therefore, perfect faith (samyag-darsana). 

Right knowledge (samyag-jMna). — While faith is 

initially based on knowledge of only the essentials of the 

Jaina teachings, right knowledge is, 

itight knowledge con- a8 Dravya-aahgrdha states, the "de- 

Hists in the detailed , .. , ... a . ., , . r 

knowledge ol sill tailed cognition of rlie real nature ol 
truths. the ogo and non'ego, and is free from 

doubt, error and uncertainty" (verse 
42). We have already seen in connection with Jaina 
epistemology the different ways in which correct cognition 
can be obtained. As in the case of faith, so in the 
case of knowledge, the existence of certain innate • 
tendencies (karmas) stand in the way ot correct 

knowledge. For the attainment of 

Uemoval of karma is perfect knowledge the removal of 

neceRsary for this. these karmas should be attempted. 

Perfection of this process ends in the 
attainment of absolute omniscience (kevalajnana). 

Bight conduct {8amyah-caritra). — Good conduct is 
briefly described in Dravya-sahgraha 
liight conduct is / verse 45) as re f raining from what is 
SrtaiS"S2 "land doing what is beneficial, 
is right. In a word, it is what helps the self to 

get rid ol the karmas that lead 
hiui to bondage and suffering. For the stoppage of 
the influx of new karmas, and eradication oE the old, 
one must (1) take the five great vows (panca-mahiivrata) , 
(2) practise extreme carefulness (samiti) in walking, 
speaking, receiving alms and other things, and answer- 
ing calls of nature, so as to avoid doing any harm to 
any life, (3) practise restraint (gupti) of thought, 
speech and bodily movements, (4) practise dharrna of 
ten different kinds t namely, forgiveness, humility, straight- 
forwardness, truthfulness, cleanliness, self-restraint, 
austerity (internal and external), sacrifice, non-attachment 

ie— 1606B 


and celibacy, (5) meditate on the cardinuf truths taught 
regarding the self and the world, (6j conquer, through 
fortitude, all pains and discomforts that arUe from hunger, 
thirst, heat, cold, etc., and (7) attain equanimity, purity, 
absolute greedlessness and perfect conduct. 1 

But Jaina writers are not unanimous regarding the 
necessity of all the above steps Some 
The five gjeat vows of ts, om select the first name lv, the 
form the basis of right « , « a> • ± , 

couduct. ° ve 8 rett * vows a8 sufficient for 

perfection of conduct. Many of the, 

other steps recommended are fouad to repeat in different 

ways the basic principles of these five. 

The value of the five great vows (pafica-maha- 
vrata) is recognized by the Upanisadic 

I k.' 6 P ih" Ci e le ao"e Ud thinkeM as wel1 aB the Bauddhus (who 
bj many other'TaTihs. <° ail tnem Pafica-slla). The principles 
of most of these are recognized also 
in the ten Christian commnndtnents. But the Jainas try 
to practise these with a rjgour scarcely fouud elsewhere. 
Tliete vows consist of the following : 

'jfthirh'Ka: Abstinence from all injury to life Lif*, 

ap we have seen, exists not simply in 

'li The vow of the moving beings (trasa), but al*. in 
ahimsa or Lon-in;ury ° ° ■ , . , - i i_ 

to i lte> * * some non-moving ones (sthavara) such 

as plants and beings inhabiting bodies 
of eaith. The ideal of the Jama is, therefore, to avoid 
molesting life not only of the moving creatures but 
also of the non-moving ones. The Jaina saints 
who try to follow this ideal are, th> refore, fouud 
even to breathe through a piece of cloth tied over 
their noses lest they inhale and destroy the life of 
any organism floating in the air. Ordinary laymen would 
find thi- ideal too high. They are advised, therefore, to 
begin with the partial observance of ahimsa by abstaining 
from iniury to moviug beings which are endowed with at 
least two senses. 

The JHi'ua attitude of ahirh-a is the logical out- 
come of their metaphyseal theory of the potential equa ity 

of all souls and recognition of the 
id*:. " or" p?«S Principle of "cipr city, i e we should 
equaliij of all s„uU. do }° others hs we Would be done by. 

It : b unfHir to think that ahimsa 
is the remnant of the savage's primitive awe for life, 

1 Draiyatahgraha, 85. 


as some critics have thought. * If every soul, however 
lowly now, can become us great as nnv ot'ier »oul, then 
one >hould recognize the value au J the claims of every Jile 
as his own. ' Resp' ct for life wherever found ' becomes 
thtn an irresistible duty. 

The Jaina tries to perform this duty in every 

minute act in life, because he wants to be thoroughly 

consistent with th. j b'isic principle he 

Ahimsa must be, baB acce p te d. The Jaina also thinks, 

praotiKed in tho»glit, iL * ,.l ,. •*. ■ t «. l 

speech and action. th ' rt-iore, that it is not sufficn nt 

simply not to tuke life;<ne should 

not even thin ft and speak ot taking li'e, nor even permit, 

nor encourage others to take life. Otherwise the vow of 

ahimsa cannot be fully maintained. 

Sat\ am : Abstinence fnm fulsehord. — This vow also is 

... „ , . t.-ken very rigorously. Truthfulness 

'2) Tbe vow of salya , 1 • 1 ± • , i. 

or truthfulness c<i- ,B not *»< ak ng wh..t is only true, 
ai-isin speukins.' nhat but tpeaking what is t'"p as well as 
ib »rne, as « ell as gond Hnd pleBsant. Without «the.-e 
pleasant an.i g.od. qualifications the practice of truthful- 

ness' w< uld be of liitle use as an aid to moral pmpri-BS. 
Because, merely flunking what is true may sometiuies 
descend into garrulity, vu'gantj, frivolity, vilification, etc. 
Truth set as the ideal of this vow is sometimes called, 
therefc re, eunrta, to suggest the fuller meaning of truth 
which is aUo and pleasant. It is also pointed 
out that for the perfect maintenance of thiB vow, one 
must conquer greed, fear and anger and even restrain 
the habit oi jesting. 

Asteyum: Abstinence from stealing. — This vow consists 
in not taking what is not given. The 
asteya or%on™tTalin°g sanctity of the property of others, like 
is based on tbe idea thut of their lives is r cognized by 
of tbe sanctity of the Jaina*. A Jaina writer wittily 
property remHrks that wealth is but the outer 

life of man and to rob wealth is to rob life. 11 human 

1 Vide Mackenzie, Hindu Ethics, p. 112 : " Tlie root i<les of the 

doctrine of ahimsa is tbe awe with wbicb the savag* re.ards life 

in all its forms." But even the early Jaina teachers make it cle« 
that it is the sense of fellow-feeling and equity on which ahimsi is 
based. Vide Acarahga-tulra, 1.4 2. (JacoM, Jainasutias, P.<rt I, pp. 
88-39), an.i Sutrakrtihga, 1.1.4 iopeit. Part II, pp. 247-19), which 
speak of ahimsa as ' the legitimate conclusion from the principle of 



life is impossible without wealth in some form or other, 
there is no exaggeration in the Jaina thought that depriv- 
ing a man of hia wealth is virtually to deprive him of an 
essential condition on which his life depends. This vow, 
therefore may be said to be logically inseparable from the 
vow of ahirhsu, the sanctity of property being a logical 
sequence of the sanctity of life. 

Brahm&caryam : Abstinence from ( self-indulgence. — 

,., _. , This vow is generally interpreted us 

Uj The vow of ,, . . ,S. J r> . .\_ T . 

brahmacarya consists that of celibacy. But the Jama, 
in abstaining from all attaches to this also a deeper meaning 
forms of self-indul that raises the standard of tbis vow 
geBce - far above mere sexual self -continence. 

It is interpreted us the vow to give up self-indulgence 
(kama) of every form. The Jaina, bent on self-criticism, 
discerns that though outwardly indulgence may stop, it 
may continue still in subtle forms — in speech, in thought, 
in the hopes of enjoyment hereafter in heaven, even in 
asking or permitting others to indulge themselves. For 
the complete maintenance of this vow one must, therefore, 
desist from all forms of self-indulgence — external and 
internal, subtle and gross, mundane and extra-mundane, 
direct and indirect. 

Aparigraha : Abstinence from all attachment. — This is 
r . „,, { if explained as the vow to give up all 

ligrsha "consists "^i'n attachment for the objects of the five 
abstaining from nil senses — pleasant sound, touch, colour, 
iittaobineui to srnse- taste and smell. 1 As attachment to 
ob,ects- the world's objects means bondage lo 

the world, arid the force of this causes rebirth, liberation 
is impossible without the withdrawal of attachment. 

Knowledge, faith, and conduct are inseparably 

Bight knowledge. boDT,d "*> ; m * the l^K-SB »'k1 
faitb and conduct degeneration of the one react on 
jointly bring about , n e .- r 
liberation consisting the other two. Perfection of con- 
in fourfold perfection. ( , ut . lgoeB haudin haud wjth lh(l 

perfection of knowledge and faith. When a person , 
through the harmonious development of these three 

Scdrshga siilra, Jucobi, IS. T., p. 208. 



succeeds m overcoming tbe forces of ail passions and 
karmas, oJd and new, the sou' becomes free from its 
bondage to matter and attains liberation. Being free 
from tbe obstacles of matter, the soul realizes its 
inherent potentiality. It attains the fourfold perfec- 
tion (ananta-cairjstaya) , namejy, infinite knowledge 
infinite faith, infinite power and infinite bliss. 

3. Jainism as a Religion without God 

Jainism presents, along with Buddhism, a religion 
The grounds of Jains without belief in God. The 
atheism .- atheism of the Jainaw is based 

on tbe following chief grounds ' : 

(t) God is not perceived, but Hought to be proved 

through inference. The Nyayn 
(1) Neither percep- h J J 

tion nor inference can holds, for example, that as every 

l> ove ' product, like a house, is (he work 

of an agent (,karta), the world, which is a product, 
must also have an agent or creator who is called God. 
But this inference is inconclusive, because one of the 
premises, ' the world is a product,' »s doubtful. 
How is it. proved that the world is a product ? It 
cannot be said that the world is a product becaus'e 
it has parts. Though akasa has parts, it is not 
admitted by the Nyaya to be a product ; it is said 
to be an eternal substance not produced by anything 
else. Again, wherever we perceive anything beinp 
produced, the producer or the agent is found to work- 
on the material with his limbs. God is said to be 

1 Vide P/oweja-kamoJo-mortori^o, Chap. II, and Syadvadamafljari , 
terse 6 and com. for elaborate arguments in support o' atheism. 



bodiless. How can He, then, work on matter to 

produce the world ? 

(u) Like the existence of God, the qualities of 

omnipotence, unity, eternity and perfection, generally 

, m „ ,. . attributed to Him, are also doubt- 

fa) The qualities 
attribute to flod are ful.* If God is omnipotent, He 
not reasonable. , ,, , i , . 

should be supposed to be the cause 

of all things. But this is not. true, because we per- 
ceive daily that many objects like houses, pots, etc. , 
are not produced by God. God is held to be one on 
the ground that, if there were many gods, they would 
act with different plans and purposes, and consequently 
a harmonious world, as W9 have, would not have been 
possible. But this argument is not sound, because we 
observe that many human beings like masons, and even 
lower animals like ants and bees, act together harmo- 
niously to build objects like palaces, ant-hills, and hives. 
God, again, is said to be eternally perfect. But eternal 
perfection is a meaningless epithet. Perfection is only 
a removal of imperfection, and it is meaningless to call 
a being perfect who was never imperfect. 

Though the Jainas thus come to reject God, as the 
_. ' . ,. creator of the world, they think it 

Tho Jainas worship J 

tbe liberated bouIb necessary to meditate on and 

possessing God-like ,. lt ,., , , . . , 

qualities, instead of worship the liberated, perfect souls 
God - (siddhas). The liberated souls 

possessing the God-like perfections mentioned already 
easily take the place of God. Prayers are offered to 
them for guidance and inspiration. The offering of 
prayers to five kinds of pure souls (pafica-paramesti)' 

1 These are the Arhata, the Siddhas, the iearyas, the TTpadhyayns, 
the Bftdbus; vide Dravya-sahgraha, 49. 


also forms a, part of the daily routine of the devout 

Jamas. In spite of the absence of a creator-God, the 

religious spirit of the Jaina lacks 
The reugiouB fervour 

of the Jainas does not, neither iu internal fervour nor in 
therefore, suffer. . . . . _. 

external ceremonial expressions. By 

meditating on the pure qualities of the liberated and 

those who are advanced on the path to liberation, the 

Jaina reminds himself daily of the possibility of 

attaining the high destiny. He purifies his mind by 

the contemplation of the pure and strengthens his heart 

for the uphill journey to liberation. Worship, for the 

Jaina, is no; seeking for mercy, and pardon. The 

Jaina believes in the inexorable moral law of karma 

which no mercy can bend. The consequen en o£ past 

misdeeds can only be counteracted by generating 

within the soul strong opposite forces of good thoright, 

good speech and good action. Every one must work 

out his own salvation. The liberated souis serve only 

as beacon lights. The relig ion of 

f J seif-h, 1 ip i9 * ,e,i * ion tlw JwnaJBjJherefoie, a relig^of 
the strong_ and the brave. It is a 
religion of self-help. This is why the liberated soul is 
called a victor (jina) and a hero (vlra). In this respect 
it has some other parallels in India, in Buddhism, the 
Sankhya and the Advaita-Vedanta. 





Rhys David*. 

...' Dialogues of the Buddha 

(Eng. trans, in 2 parts. 

Sacred Books of the 

Buddhists aeries). 

Mrs. Rhys Davids 

... Buddhism (Home University 


H. C. Warren 

*... Buddhism in Translations 


(Harvard University 


Yamakaroi Sogen 

... Systems of Buddhistic 

Thought ' (Calcutta 



D. T. Suzuki 

... Outlines of Mahdyina 

Buddhism (Luzac & Co.). 

B. M. Barua 

... A History of Pre-Buddhis- 

tic Indian Philosophy 

(Calcutta University). 


... The Central Conception of 

Buddhism (Royal Asiatic 


The Dhammapada (Eng. 

trans. Sacred Books of 

the East series). 


. I. Introduction 

The life of Siddhartha or Gautama Buddha, the 
Light of Asia and the founder of 
Bt.ddha We0fG8ntamB Buddhism, is fairly well-known.. 
Born in a Boyat family at Kapila- 
vastu (on the foot-hills of the Himalayas, north of 
Bihar) in the sixth century B.C., Siddhartha renounced 
the world early in life. The sights of disease, old age 
and death impressed the young prince with 4be idea 
that the world was full of suffering, and the life of a 
care-free mendicant suggested to him a possible way of 
escape. As an ascetic, he was restless in search of the 
real source of all sufferings and of the means of com« 
plete deliverance.} He sought light from many religious 
teachers and learned scholars of the day and practised 
great austerities ; but nothing satisfied him. This 
threw him back on his own resources. With an iron 
.will and a mind free from all disturbing thoughts and 
passions, he endeavoured to unravel, through continued 
■ntense meditation, ttie mystery of the world's miseries, 
till at last his ambition was crowned with success. 
Siddhartha became Buddha or the Enlightened^ The 
message of his enlightenment laid the foundation of 
both Buddhistic religion and philosophy which, in 
course of time, spread far and wide — to Ceylon, Burma 


and Siam in the south, and to Tibet, China, Japan 
and Korea in the north. 

Like al! great teachers of ancient times Buddha 
taught by conversation, and h ; s 

JumSXR " teachin g 8 were also handed down 

for a long time through oral 
instruction imparted by bis disciples 'to successive 
generations. Our knowledge about Buddha's teachings 

depends to-day chiefly on the 
lately hTalolloS* Tnpitakas ox the three baskets of 

teachings which are claimed to 
contain his views as reported by his most intimate 
disciples. These three canonical works are named 

Vinaya-pitaka, Sutta-pitaka and 

wJk^tte^;pHSa8 d Abhidhamma-pitaka. Of these the 

• first deals chiefly with rules of 

conduct, the second contains sermons with parables, 

and the third deals with problems of philosophical 

interest. All these three cqptain information regarding 

early Buddhist philosophy. These works are in the 

Pali dialect. 

In course of time, as his followers increased in 

„, „ number, they were divided into 

The Hmajana and 
the Mahayana school different schools. The most well- 

" 1Bm- known division of Buddhism on 

religious principles was into the Hlnayana and the 

Mahayana. The first flourished in the south and its 

present stronghold is in Ceylon, Burma and Siam. 

Its literature is vast and is written in Pali. It is claimed 

to be more orthodox and faithful to the teachings of 

•Buddha. Hlnayana is sometimes called also southern 

or Pali Buddhism. Mahayana flourished mostly in 


the north and* its adherents are to be found in Tibet, 
China and Japan. It adopted Sanskrit for philosophi- 
cal discussion and thus tbe enormous Buddhist literature 
in SanBkrit came to be developed. Most of this 
literature was translated into Tibetan and Chinese and 
thus became naturalized in jhe lands in which 
Buddhism flourished. Many such valuable Sanskrit 
works lost in Tndia are now being recovered from Those 
translations and restored to Sanskrit. Mahayana is 
also known as northern or Sanskrit Buddhism. 

As Buddhism flourished in different lands, it became 
coloured and changed by the original 

of 1 Budd V h 8 il. literfttUre faiths and ideas of the converts - 
The different schools of Buddhism 

which thus arose are so numerous and the total output 

of philosophical works in the different languages is so 

vast that a thorough acquaintance with Buddhist 

philosophy requires the talents of a versatile linguist, 

as well as the insight of a philosopher — and yet one 

life-time may be found all too short for the purpose. 

Our account of Bauddha philosophy will necessarily 

be very brief and so inadequate. We shall first try 

to give the chief teachings of Buddha as found in the 

dialogues attributed to him, and next deal with some 

aspects of Bauddba philosophy as developed later by 

his followers in the different schools, and conclude 

with a short account of the main religious tendencies 

of the Hinayana and the Mahayana school. 



II. The Teachings of Buddha: 
The Four Noble Truths 

1. The Anti-Metaphysical Attitude 

Buddha was primarily an ethical teacher and 

reformer, not a" philosopher. The 

J5S*tf S£f ™»«e of hi 8 enlightenment 

ions devoid of practi- points to man the way of life 
cal utility. r 

that leads beyond suffering. When 
any one asked Buddha metaphysical questions as to 
whether the soul was different from the body, whether 
it survived death, whether the world was finite or 
infinite, eternal or non-eternal, etc., he avoided dis- 
cussing them. Discussion of problems for the solution 
of which there ip not sufficient evidence leads only 
to different partial views like the conflicting one-sided 
accounts of an elephant given by different blind 
persons who touch its different parts. 1 Buddha referred 
to scores of such metaphysical views advanced by 
earlier thinkers and showed that all of them were 
inadequate, since they were based on uncertain sense- 
experiences, cravings, hopes and fears. 2 Such specu- 
lation should be avoided, Buddha repeatedly pointed 
ont, also because it does not take man nearer to bis 
goal, vie. Arhatship or Vimutti, the state of freedom 
from all suffering. On the contrary, a man who 
indulges in such speculation remains all the more 
entangled in the net of theories he himself has 

1 For this parable vtde Rhys Davids, Dialogues of Buddha, I, pp 


1 Brahma-j&la-sutta, op.cit., pp. 52«5. 



woven. 1 The (host urgent problem is to end misery. 
One who indulges in theoretical speculation on the 
soul and the world, while he is writhing in pain, 
behaves like the foolish man, with a poisonous arrow 
plunged into his flank, whiling away time on idla 
speculation regarding the origin, the maker and the 
thrower of the arrow, instead of trying to pull it out 
immediately. 3 

Ten questions are often mentioned by Buddha (vide 
Potftapada Sutta, Dialogues, I. B. 
and heten ona n n 5 r Sie Davids, pp. 254-57) as uncertain and 
questions. * ethically unprofitable and therefore, 

not discussed by* him: (1) Is the 
world eternal ? (2) Is it non-eternal ? (3) Is it finite ?■ 
(4) Is it infinite ? (5) Is the soul the same as the body ? 
(6) Is it different from the body ? (7) Does one who "has 
known the truth live again after death ? (8) Does he 
pot live again after death ? (9) Does be both live again 
and not live again after death ? (10) Does he neither 
live nor not-live again after death ? These have come 
to be known as the ten ' indeterminable questions ' (in Pali 
avy&kat&ni) in Buddhist literature and made the subject 
of a discourse in Samyutta Nikaya called Avyakata 

Instead of discussing metaphysical questions, which 
are ethically useless and intel- 

aSmirer"! qUe8ti ° n lectuallv uncertain, Buddha always 
tried to enlighten persons on the 
most important questions of sorrow, its origin, its 
cessation and the path leading to its cessation. 
Because, as he puts it: "This does profit, has to do 
with fundamentals of religion, and tends to aversion, 
absence of passion, cessation, quiescence, knowledge, 
supreme wisdom and nirvana." 4 

1 Ibid., p. 44. 9 Majihima-nihaya-tutla, 63 fWarren, p. 120). 

3 Vide Dialogues I, p. 187. * Majjhima-nik&ya-»utta, 68 (Wanen, p. 133). 



The answers to the four questions noted above 
constitute, as we know, the essence of Buddha's en* 
lightenment which he is eager to share with all fellow- 
beings. These have come to be known as the four 
noble truths (catvari arya-satyani), They are: (1) 
Ljtfe in the w orld is fu ll of suffer- 

The four noble truths j n g. (2) There' is a cause~oFthis 
concerning suffering. 2- 

suffering. (3) It is possible to 6tdp 
suffering. (4) There is a path which leads to the 
cessation of suffering (duhkha, duhkha-samudaya, 
duhkha-nirodha, duhkha-nirodha-niargaj. All the teach- 
ings of Gautama centre round these four. 

'2L The First Noble Truth about Suffering 

The Bights _of sufferin g which _ upset the mind of 
young Siddbartba were of disease, 

Life is full of Buffer- oI(] ftge d death Butto tbe 

ma;. ° 

enlightened mind of Buddha not 

simply these, but tbe very essential conditions of life, 

human and sub-human, appeared, 

Even apparent pie*- " 

sores »w fraught with without exception, to be fraught 

pftlD " with misery. Birth, old age, disease, 

death, sorrow, grief, wish, despair, in short, all that is 

born of attachment, is misery. 1 .We have mentioned in 

the General Introduction that pessimism of this type is 

common to all the Indian schools ; and in emphasizing 

the first noble truth Buddha has the support of all 

important Indian thinkers. The Garvaka materialists 

would, of course, take exception to Buddha's wholesale 

condemnation of life in the world, and point out 

the different sources of pleasure that exist in life ! along 

1 Digha-niki^a-sutta, 22 (Warren, p. 866) , 


with those of, pain. But Buddha and many other 

Indian thinkers would reply that worldly pleasures 

appear as such only to short-sighted, peojjle. Their 

transitoriness, the pains felt on their loss and the 

m , " , . .. , fears felt lest they should be lost, 
To the far-sighted J - 

worldly pleasures are and other evil consequences, make 

sources of fear. , , » , , . , m , '. 

i pleasures lose their charm and turn 
them into positive sources of fear and anxiety. 

„/ 51. The Second Noble Truth about the Cause of 
Suffering : the Chain of Twelve Links 

Though the fact o f suffering is recognized 

by all Indian thinkers, the 'diagnosis of this 

„ _ , ... malady is not alw ays unani- 

Sufferlng, like every ^ — . ■' : — j 

other thing, depends Pio us. T he origin of life's evil is _ 
on some conditions. "I : 5 — ; == , „ - : 71 ■ ,. , 

ex plained by Buddha i n the light 
of his spt'cia l^ojirpptinn of natural, causation (known 
as Pratltyasamutpada) . According to it, nothing_j£_ 
unconditional ; the existence of everythTn^Hepends on 
some conditio ns. As the existence of every ev ent 
depends on some c onditions, there must be something 
The chain of causes which being there our misery comes 

E d .t£&g U, in "'the into «**?*"*■ ~UV ^'suffering (old 
wor 'd- age, death, despair, grief and the 

like, briefly denoted by the phrase jara-marana) is 
there, says Buddha, be cause there is birth (jati). If 
a maii were not born, he would not have been 
subject to these miserable states . Birth again has it s 
►-con dition. It is the will to_ beco me (bhava), 1 the force 

1 Mrs. Bhys Davids' rendering of this word as ' tht disposition for 
becoming* {Buddhism, p. 91) is better than its ordinary rendering as 'exis- 
tence,' which is nearly meaningless in this context. 'Bhava' is used in 
the meaning of ' disposition,' in the Bankhya and other Indian systems. 



of the blind tendency or predisposition fo r be born, which 
causes our birth. But what is the cause of this ten- 
dency ? Our mental clinging to or grasping (upadana) 
the objects of the world is the condition responsible for 
our desire to be born. This clinging again is due to 
our thirst (trsna) or craving to enjoy objects — sights, 
sounds, eic. But wherefrom does .this desire origi- 
nate ? We would not have any desire for objects, had 
we not tasted or experienced them before. Previous 
sense-experience, tinged with some pleasant feelings 
(vedana), is, therefore, the cause of our thirst or crav-_ 
ing. But sense-experience could not arise but for 
contact (sparsa), i.e. contact of sense-organs with 
objects. This contact again would not arise had there 
not been the six organs of cognition, the five senses 
anc< manas (sadayatana). These six again depend 
for their existence on the body-mind organism (nama- 
rupa), which constitutes the perceptible being of man. 
But this organism could not develop in the mother's 
womb and come into existence, if it. were dead or 
devoid of consciousness (vijnana). But the conscious- 
ness that descends into the embryo in the mother's 
womb is only the effect of the impressions (samskara) 
of our past existence. The last state of the past life , 
which initiates our present existence, contains in a 
concentrated manner the impressions or effects of all our 
past deeds. The impressions which make for rebirth 
are due to ignorance (avidyaj about truth. If the tran- 
sitory, painful nature of the worldly existence were 
perfectly realized, there would not arise in us any karma 
resulting in rebirth. Ignorance, therefore, is the root, 
cause of impressions or tendencies that cause rebirth. 



Briefly speaking, then (1) suffering in life is due 
to (2) birth, which is due to (3) 
JilrSaSng" thejM Hto be born , whi ch is due to 
(4) o ur mental clinging to objects . 
Clin ging again is due to (5) th irst or desire for o bject s. 
This a gain is due to (6) se nse-experience whiah is due 
to (7) s ense-object-contac t , which again is due to (8) 
the six or gans of cogaition; these organs are dependent 
ou (0) the embryonic organism (composed of mind and 
body), which again could not develop without (10) some 
initial consciousness, which again hails from (11) the 
impressions of the experience of past* life, which lastly 
are due to (12) ignorance of truth. 

Thus we have the twelve links in the chain of 

causation. The order and number 

Those constitute the of the links are not always the 

wheel of existence. : - n i i_ 

birth and rc-birth. same in all the sermons ; but the 

above has come to be regarded as 
the. full and standard account of the matter. It has 
been popularized among Buddhists by various epithets' 
such as tbe twelve sources (dvadasa iridium), the wheel 
of existence (ybhava-cakra). Some devout Buddhists 
remind themselves, even to-day, of this teaching of 
Buddha by turning wheels which are made to symbolize 
the wheel of causation. Like tbe telling of beads, this 
forms a part of their daily prayers. 

The twelve links are sometimes interpreted to cover 

the past, the present and the future 

The present life is life, which are causally connected, so 

(he effect of the part y,^ presen t ijf e oan be conveni- 

SL2" CaUM ently explained with reference to its 

past condition and its future effect. 

The twelve links are, therefore, arranged with reference to 


/ t 

the three periods in the following way proceeding from 

cause to effect : 

(1) Ignorance (avidyiil i p , ,.. 

(2) Impressions (samskara) / rast ljlte> 

(3) The initial consciousness of the 

embryo (vijitena) 

(4) .Body and mfhd, the embryonic 

organism (numa-rupa)) 

(5) Six organs of knowledge (sad- ■ 

ayatana) f Present Life. 

(6) Sense-contact (spar£a) 

(7) Sense-experience (vedanii) 

(8) Thirst (trsnii) 

(9) Clinging (upadana) 

(10) Tendency to be born (bhava) 

(11) Bebirth (jati) 1 F . Ljfe 

(12) Old age, death, etc. (jara- marana) J u 

Before we close this topic, we may note one very impor- 

*- tant contribution made bv Indian 

An important cont ri- thinkers in general and Buddha in 

bntion of Buddlia. ... i ji „*■» 

particular; namely, the conception 

that the, external phenomenon of life or the living organism 
is due to an internal impetus cf desire, conscious or uncon- 
scious. The evolution of life is sought* 
Life is not the- pro- to be . explained mechanically _ by 
duct of a mechanical modern biologists — both Darwinians 
combination of mate- and anti -Darwinians — with the help of 
rial conditions. material conditions, inherited and 

environmental. The first appearance 
of a horn on the cow's head, or the formation of an eye, 
is to them nothing more than an accidental variation, 
slow or sudden. The famous contemporary French 
philosopher, Bergson, shows that 
It is the expression of the development of life cannot be 
inner forces as Berg- ,. , , .? i ■ i i 

son now holds. satisfactorily explained as merely 

accidental, but that it must be 
thought to be the outward expression of an internal urge or 
life-impetus (elan vital). Buddha's basic principle of the 
explanation of life, namely that bhava (internal predisposi- 
tion, the tendency to be) leads to birth (existence of the 
body), or that consciousness is the condition of the develop- 
ment of the embryo, anticipates the Bergsonian contention 
that the living body is not caused simply by collection of 


pieces of matter, but is the outward manifestation ov 
explosion of an internal urge. Incidentally we may note 
also that Bergson's philosophy of reality as change resembles 
the Buddhistic doctrine of universal impermanence. 

4. The Third Noble Truth about the Cessation 
of Suffering 

The third noble truth that there is cessation of 
suffering, follows from the second 
if KS "1^ truth that misery depends on some 
conditions. If these conditions are 
removed, misery would cease. £ut we should try to 
understand clearly the exact nature of the state called 
cessation of misery. £h - 

First of all it should be noted that liberation from 
misery is a state attainable h&e in 

Cessation of suffering, . . ,.„ ., - . ,.,. 

i.e. nirvana, is at- t™ vei 7 J " e > lf certain conditions 

veS a Hf6. here ' ' n thiS are flllfille<1 - Wllen tb « P erfett 

control of passions and constant 
contemplation of truth lead a person through the four 
stages "of concentration to perfect wisdom (as will be 
described hereafter), he is no longer under the sway 
of worldly attachment. He has broken the letters 
that bound him to the world. He is, therefore, free, 

————— * 

liberated. He is said then to have become an Arhat — 
a venerable person. The state is more popularly known 
now as nirvana — the extinction of passions and, there- 
fore, also of mirery. 

We should remember, next that the attainment of 
this state is not necessarily a state 

actwlt* * " DOt in " of iliactivit y> as ifc is ordinarily 

misunderstood to be. It is true 

that for the attainment of perfect, clear and steady 



knowledge of the fourfold troth one has to withdraw all 
his attention from outside and even from other ideas 
within, and concentrate it wholly on repeated reasoning 
and contemplation of ihe truth6 in all their aspects. 
But once wisdom has been permanently obtained, 
through concentrated tHdught, the liberated person 
should neither always remain rapt in meditation nor 
wholly withdraw from active life. We know what an 

active life of travelling, preaching, 
uSTSaS. e™ founding brotherhood, Buddha him- 
»ftcr his fnlighten- self led during the long forty-five 

years that he lived after enlighten- 
ment, and even to the last days of his eightieth year 
when he passed away 1 Liberation then was not 
incompatible with activity in the life of the founder 

Ak hi-, clearly pointed out once, there are two kinds 

of action, otic that is done under the 

Work without attach- influence of attachment, hatred, 

fftt D Blion atre doT d not. mfatuatiim ( r "« ft > dvel ? a ' m °M' 
<-8!>«e bondag!^ 8 "^ another that is done without these. 
It is only the first that strengthens 
our desire to cling to the world and generates the seeds of 
karma causing rebirth. The second kind of action, done 
with perfect insight into the real nature of the universe and 
without attachment, does not create a karma producing 
rebirth. The difference between the two kinds of karma, 
Buddha points out, is like that between the sewing of 
ordinary productive seeds and the sowing of seeds which 
have been fried and made barren. 1 This lesson he teaches 
also in the story of hia enlightenment. 2 After he had 
attained nirvana, he was at first reluctant to work. 
But soon his enlightened heart began to beat with 

' AnauUaTanikdya (Warren, pp. 215 f.). 
! Mojjhima-nik&ya, 26 {ibid., pp. 389 f.). 


sympathy for the countless brings who were still writhing 

in pain. He thought it proper, there- 

Boddba set the ex- fore, that the raft which he construct- 

ample of inch self- ed wjt i, toi] an< j with ^jgj, he „ ot 

S. MVIW across the fiood of imsery, should bo 

left for others and not allowed to 
perish. 1 Nirvana, he thus shows by his own example and 
precept, does not require the Arhat to shun activity ; on the 
contrary, Jove and sympathy for all beings increase with 
enlightenment and persuade the perfect man to Bbare his 
wisdom with them and work for their moral uplift. 

Tf this biTaTJDrrect interpretation of Buddha's life and 

teaching, it is wrong to think, as it is 

Nirviina does not very f ten fo ne tnat n j rVana mea ns 

S™, total extinction of existence. The 

etymological meaning of ' nirvana ' is 
' blown out.' The metaphor of a ' blown out light * is there f 
and the liberated one is sometimes compared to it. Depend- 
ing on such etymological meaning and the negative descrip- 
tion of nirvana as the absence of all physical and mental 
states known to tie, some interpreters of Buddhism — 
Buddhists and non-Buddhists — have explained nirviina as 
complete cessation of existence. But against this view 
we have to remember, first, that if nirvana or liberation be 
extinction of all existence, then Buddha cannot be said 
to have been liberated till lie died ; his attainment of 
, perfect wisdom and freedom, for the exiinrtion of which we hftve njs own wor «J s turns 

SStfrtMfa. ,hp ^en into a myth. It is difficult 
to hold, therefore, that nirvana as 
taught by Buddha means cessation of all existence.' 
Secondly, we are to remember that, though nirvana, 
according to Buddha, stops rebirth and, therefore, means 
the extinction of all misery and of the conditions that cause 
future existence in this world after death, it does not 
mean necessarily that after death the liberated saint 

1 Majjhima-nikaya \vido Sllaeara's trans., p. 170, German Pali 

* Rhys Davids shows thai the Pali word for ' liberated,' ' Parinib- 
bnto* is used of living persons «nd scarcely of dead Arhants. ( Vide 
Dialogues, II, p. 13-2, f.n.). 


does not continue in any form. This las^ point, bb we 
mentioned previously, is one of the 

J*fi UbS * en P° int9 °* whioh Buddha re P«? ated - 

the liberated after [ 1 refuses to express any opinion, 
death does not mean Bo that even the view that, after 
bis denial of the ex- death, the person who attains nirvfina 

n'ron after tetf * ° ea89S t0 eXfet alto « ether is one 
" er ' which Buddha cannot be said to have 

held. Buddha's silence knight just me^an that the state 

of liberation cannot be described in terms of ordinary 

experience. 1 , 

The important question that arises here then is : 

If Buddha is not explicit about the fate of a liberated 

person after death, what according to him is gained by 

nirviina? The gain is double, negative 

The double gain of and positive. Nirvana is a guarantee 

nirvana: stopping of tfiat rebirth, whose conditions have 

US. £ 2& ft-. de8tr °y ed ' .,.wfll ** occur, 
inent of perfect peace Nirvana also positively means that 
in this life. one who has attained it enjoys perfect 

4 , peace even in this life so long as he 

lives after enlightenment. This peace is not, of course, like 
any of the pleasures born of the fulfilment of desires. Jt is, 
therefore, said to be beyond worldly pleasures and pains. 
But it is a state of serenity, equanimity and passionless 
self-possession. It cannot be described in terms of ordinary 
experiences; the best way of understanding, it in the light 
of our imperfect experience is to think of it as a relief 
from all painful experience from which we suffer. We 
can understand this because all of us have experience at 
least of temporary feelings of relief from Borne pain or 
other, such as freedom from disease, 
Even the partial ful- debt, slavery, imprisonment. 2 Be- 
aiment of the condi- sideg the aavan tages of nirvana can 
dons of nirvana . _ . , . . ° , . • , " 

canses palpable bene- be enjoyed in part, even before it has 
fits. °een obtained, by the partial fulfil- 

ment of its conditions. As Buddha 
explains to King Ajatasatru in a discourse on the advan- 
tages of the life of a recluse, every bit of ignorance removed, 
and passion conquered, brings about palpable benefit, such 

1 Vide Prof. Radhakrishnan's article, ' The teaching of Buddha bj 
speech and silence,' Hibbtrt Journal, April, 1934. 
1 Vide Samafltla-phala-suita (Dialogues, I, p. 84). 



as purity, good-will, self-possession, courage, unperplexed 
mind, unruffled temper. 1 This heartens him and gives him 
the strength to pursue the difficult goal of nirvana till it is 
fully obtained. 

We know that a later Buddhist teacher of great 
eminence, Nagasena, while instructing the Greek King 
Menander (Milinda) who aecepted his discipleship, tried to 

convey to hinj the idea of tlje blissful 
The real nature of • character of nirvana with a series of 
nirvana can only be metaphors ; Nirvana is profound like 
realized and not de6- r . .. ■ ,.,* r . . , 

cribed in terms of an ocean, lofty like a mountain peak, 
ordinary experience. sweet like honey ; etc. 2 But oil these, 

as Nagasena points out, can scarcely 
convoy to the imperfect man the idea of what that thing 
is. Reasoning and metaphor are of little avail for convinc- 
ing a blind man what colour is like. . , 

">. The Fourth Noble Truth about the Path to 

The fourth noble truth, as seen already, lays dojvn 

that there is a path (miirga) — which 

The path consists of Buddha fo H owe d and others can 

i'if»bt steps : § 

similarly follow — to reach a state 
free from misery. Clues regarding this path are 
derived from the knowledge of the chief conditions that 
cause misery. The path recommended by Buddha 
consists of eight steps or rules and is, therefore, called 
the eightfold noble path. 3 This gives in a nutshell 
the essentials of Bauddha Ethics. This path is open to 
all, monks as well as laymen. 4 The noble path consists 
in the acquisition of the following eight good things : 

Right views (sammaditthi or samyagdrsti) — As 
ignorance, with its conseqiiences, namely, wrong 

I Jbid. ' Vide Milinda-paHha. 

3 Full discussion occurs in Digha-nikay.a-sutta. 22 (Warren, pp. 
372-74), Majjhima-nikaya (quoteJ by Sogen, System*, pp. 169-71). 
* Vide Rhys Davids, Dialogues, I, pp, 02-63. 



views (raithyadrsti) about trie self aod the world, 
is the root cause of our sufferings, 

(1) Right views, ot 

knowledge of the 'our it is natural that the first step 
to moral reformation should be the 
acquisition of right views or the knowledge of truth. 
Eight view is defined as the correct knowledge about the 
four nobfe truths, ft is the knowledge of these truths 
alone, and not any theoretical speculation regarding 
nature and self, which, according to Buddha, helps moral 
reformation, and leads us towards the goal — nirvana. 

Right resolve (sammaeankappa or samvaksankalpa). 

— A mere knowledge of the truths would be useless 

unless one resolves to reform life iu 

«»• Kn^S Z their light. The moral aspirant is 

reform life in the light ^^^ therefore , to renounce worldli- 
er tjutb. 

ness fall attachment to the world), 

to give up ill-feeling towards others and desist from 

doing aay harm to them. These three constitute the 

contents of right determination. 

Right speech (gamma vaca or sauiyagvak). — 

Right determination should not remain a mere 

' pious wish ' but must issue forth 

c oLKneX ,1,0r ilUo aclion - R«8ht determination 

< should be able to guide and control 

our speech, to begin with. The result would be right 

. speech consisting in abstention from lying, slander, 

unkind words and frivolous talk. 

Right conduct (sammakammanta or samyak- 

,, _. _ , karmantaj. — Right determination 
14) Right conduct ° 

or abstention from should end in right action or good 
w conduct and not stop merely with 

good speech. Right conduct consists, therefore, in 


desisting from destroying life, from stealing and from 

improper gratification of the sense*. 

Right livelihood (samma-a/jlva or samyagajiva). — 

„> ., i, i- ,1. j Renouncing bad speech and bad 

(51 ltiglit livelihood , ° ... 

or niuintaiuiug life by actions, one should earn his livelihood 
honrst means. . , , . _, 

, by hODest mfeans. The necessity 

of this rule lies in showing that even for the sake of 

maintaining one's life, one should not take to forbidden 

means but work in consistency with good determination. 

Right effort (sammavayama or samyagvyayama). — 

While a person triss to live a re- 

(C) Uigbt effort, or . , ... , i , . , 

constant endeavour to formed life, through right views, 
|^M»5&3i resolution, speech, action and 
thoughts and enter- livelihood, he is constantly knocked 

taiDing good ones. . 

off the right path by old evil ide^s 
which were deep-rooted in the mind as also fresh ones 
which constantly arise. One cannot progress steadily 
unless he maintains a constant effort to root out old evil 
thoughts, and prevent evil thoughts from arising anew. 
Moreover, as the mind cannot be kept empty, he slwuld 
constantly endeavour also to fill the mind with good 
ideas, and retain such ideas in the mind. Tbis fourfold 
constant endeavour, negative and positive, is called 
right effort. This rule points out that even one high 
iip on the path cannot afford to take a moral holiday 
without running the risk of slipping down. 

Right mindfulness (sammasati or samyaksmrtij. — 

The necessitv of constant vigilance 

(7; Kighi mindful' * 

boss or constant is further stressed in this rule, which 

pcrishab r ie DC nature of lay 8 down that the aspirant should 

tblDg8, constantly bear in mind the things 

he has already learnt. He should constantly remember 


and contemplate the body as body, " sensation*) as 
sensations, mind as mind, mental states as mental 
states. About any of these he should not think, "This 
am I," or " This is mine." 1 This advice sounds no 
better than asking one to think of a spade as a spade. 
t Bu'. ludicrously superfluous as it 

kae^inRo^uSem "»igbt appear to be, it is not easy to 

io things, and grirf r6 member always what things really 
over their loss. J e * 

are. It is all the more difficult to 
practise it when false ideas about the boby, etc., have 
become so deep-rooted in us and our behaviours based 
on these false notions have become instinctive. If we 
are not mindful, we behave as though the body, the 
mind, sensations and mental states are permanent and 
valuable. Hence there arise attachment to such things 
and grief over their loss, and we become subject to 
bondage and misery. But contemplation on the frail, 
perishable, loathsome nature of these, helps us to 
remain free from attachment and grief. This is the 
necessity of constant mindfulness about truth. 

In Digha-niltaya, sutta '22, Buddha gives very detailed 
instructions as to how such contempla- 
The practice of such tion is to be practised. For example, 
thought is recommend- regar ding the body, one should reman- 
ed by Buddba id mj- . ° ,° . J l . ., . ., , , 
nute details in Dlgba- ber and contemplate that the body 
nikaya. is only a combination of the four 
elements (earth, water, fixe, air), that 
it is filled with all sorts of loathsome matter, flesh, bone, 
skin, entrails, dirt, bile, phlegm, blood, pus, etc Going to 
a cemetery one should observe further how the dead body 
rots, decays, is eaten by dogs and vultures and afterwards 
gradually becomes reduced to and mixed up with the 

Vide Majjhima-nikaya, I, p. 171 (E. T. bj Silacara). 


• , 

elements. By" such intense contemplation be is able to 
remember what the body really is: how loathsome, how 
perishable, how transitory I 'He gives up all false emotions 
and affection for the body, his own and others,' By 
similar intense contemplation about sensation, mind 
and harmful mental states he becomes free from attach- 
ment and grief regarding all these. The net result of this 
fourfold intense contemplation .» is detachment from all 
objects that bind man to the world. 1 

Right concentration (saminfisamudhi or samyak- 
#0> D ., . eamiidhiV — One who lias succes*- 

\8) Bjgbt concentra- 
tion, through four fully guided his life in the light 
stages, is the hut step 

in the path that lead* of the last seven rules and thereby 
10 the goal-nirvana. froed hirrwlf ' fr(mi all paB6 i onfi 

and evil thoughts is fit to enter step by step into 

the four deeper and deeper stages of concentration 

that gradually take him to the goal of his jong 

and arduous journey — cessation of suffering. He 

concentrates his pure and unruffled mind on reasoning 

(vitarka) and investigation (vjciira) regarding the 

truths, aud enjoys in this state, joy 

(a) The first stage of , . , , , , , , 

concentration is on rea- and ease born of detachment and 

soning and investiga- p re lhou ght. This is the first 
tion regarding the * B 

truths. There is then 6tage of intent meditation (dhyana 
» joy of pure thinking. 

or jhana). 

When this concentration is successful, belief in the 
fourfold truth arises dispelling all 

ofMnJntrXn^is'un* doubts and, therefore, making 

ruffled meditation, free reaBOn i n g and investigation un- 

froni reasoning, etc. & ° 

There ia then a joy of necessary. Yrom this results the 

second stage of concentration, in 

which there are joy, peace and Internal tranquillity 

1 Vide Warren, Buddhism in Trans., p, 351. 



born of intense, unruffled contemplation. There is in 
this stage a consciousness of this joy and peace too. 
In the next stage attempt is made by him to initiate 
an attitude of indifference, to be 

<c> The third stafit . 

of concentration ib de- able to detach himeelf even from 
S^SS^m. the jby of concentration. From this 
There is thtn indiffer- resu it B the third deeper kind of 

ence even to such joy. _ * 

but a feeling of bodiiy concentration, in which one experi- 

easc still persists. „ , ... , , 

ences perfect equanimity, coupled 
with an experience of bodiiy ease. He is yet cons- 
cious of this ease and equanimity, though indifferent 
to the joy of concentration . 

Lastly, he tries to put away even this consciousness 

of ease and equanimity and all the 

ciiZiSSSZ sen8e of i°y aDd elation he p ievious - 

tavbmeni from this ly had. He attains thereby the 

bodily pa»c too. There 

are then perfect cqna- fourth state of cencentration, a 

nimity and. indiffer- , . . • . _. ., 

,-nce. ThiiistheBtate statl> of P erfwt equanimity, in- 

wiedonf** ° T Pei ' fat dl ' ffereuci ' aud Pelf-possession— 
without pain, without ease. Thus 
be attains the desired goal of cessation of all suffering, 
he attains to arhatship or nirvana. 1 There are then 
perfect wisdom (prajnii) and perfect righteousness 
(Sila) . 

To sum up the essential points of the eightfold 

path for, what is the same. Buddha's 

^jnowiedg^ooDdv^. ethical teachings.) , it may be noted 

tSTSfc * Bsentiala ot fir6t that the P attl consists of 
three main things — knowledge, con- 
duct and concentration, harmoniously cultivated. In 

1 Vide PotthopSda-sutla, for the detailed treatment of the Jbanas 
(Dialoguei, I, pp. 215 f .). 



Indian philosophy knowledge and molality are thought 

inseparable — not simply because morality, or doing of 

good, depends on the knowledge of what is good, about 

Trfrctk id which all philosophers would agree, 

impossible without but also because perfection of 

knowledge i<j regarded as impossible 

without morality, the voluntary control of passions 

and prejudices. Buddha explicitly states in one of his 

, . „ discourses that virtue and wisdom 

virtue and wisdom 

purify eacb nther," purify each other and the two 

uiivs Buddha- ii i i ,i • ii* ii 

are inseparable. In the eightfold 

path one starts with ' right views '■►-a mere intellectual 

apprehension of the fourfold truth. The mind is not 

yet purged of the previous wrong 

Reformation of life .. , , 

-idea*, will and emo- >deas aD( > the passions 01 wrong 

tion-in the light of emotions arising therefrom; more- 
truth forms a major ° 
pm». of ilic eightfold over,old habits of thinking, speaking 
ami acting also continue atill. In 

a word, conflicting forces — the new good ones and the 

old bad oneR— 'create, in terms of modern psychology, 

a divided personality. The seven Bteps beginning 

with right resolve furnish a continuous discipline for 

resolving this conflict by reform of the old personality. 

. Bepeated contemplation of what is true and good, 

(rainiug of the will aud emotion accordingly, through 

steadfast determination and passionless behaviour, 

gradually achieve the harmonious personality in which 

thought and will and emotion are all thoroughly 

cultured and purified in the light of truth. The last 

step of perfect concentration is thus made possible by 

Sonadnnda-sutta [ibid., p. 156). 



the removal of all obstacles. The result of this 
unhampered concentration on truth 

Concentration . ...... . , i 

ii possible only sfter is perfect insight or wisdom, to 
which the riddle of existence stands 
clearly revealed once for all. Ignorance and desire 
are cut at their roots an^l the source of misery vanishes. 
Perfect wisdom, perfect goodness an6 perfect equani- 
mity — complete relief from suffering — are simultaneous- 1 
ly attained, therefore, in nirvana. " Goodness is a 
function of intelligence," said Matthew Bassendine, 1 
" as beauty is of health." In Buddha's view, good- 
ness, wisdom and. tranquillity are the joint and 
inseparable functions of the complex fact of nirvana. 

0. The Philosophical Implications of Buddha's 
•« Ethical Teachings 

We may discuss here briefly some of the more 
important ideas about man and the world underlying 
Buddha's ethical teachings. Some of these are 
explicitly stated by Buddba himself. We* shall mention 
four of these views, on which his ethics mainly depends, 
namely, (1) the theory of dependent origination,' (2) 
the theory of karma, (3) the theory of change, and (4) 
the theory of the non-existence of the soul. 

(i) The_ Theory, ol Dependent Origination or 
Conditional E xistenc e of Things " - 

There is a spontaneous and universal law of causa- 
tion which conditions the appear- 

Everything *•- „ , „ , . , , 

pends on some condi- ance or all events, mental ana 

physical. This law (dharraa or 
1 Vide Rhys Davids, Dialogues. I, p. 137. 



dhamma) vrotka automatically without the help of any 
conscious guide. In Accordance with it, whenever a 
particular event (the cause) appears, it is followed by 
another particular event (the effect). "On getting the 
cause, the effect arises." The existence of everything is 
conditional, dependent on a"c§use. Nothing happens 
fortuitously or* by chance. This is called the 
theory of dependent origination (Pratltyasarnutpiida in 
Sanskrit and Paticcasamuppada in Pali). 1 This view, 
as Buddha himself makes clear, avoids two extreme 
views: on the one hand, eternaliRm or the theory that 
aoine reality eternally exists inde- 

Nolhine exists with- _ j ., , ■,... , 

out a cause, nor does it pendently of any condition and, on 

perish without Iraving the other han( ] n \} x ]]i 6m or t | ie 
some effect. 

theory that something existing can 
be annihilated or can cease to be. Buddha claims, 

therefore, to hold the middle view, 2 
vie T ^vo!dS, h m e id tw: namely, .that everything that we 
extremes of eternalise perceive possesses an existence but 

and nihilism. „ * r 

' is dependent on something else, 
and that thing in turn does not perish without leaving 
some effect. 

Buddha attaches so much importance to the 

understanding of this theory that he 

th^i^tahL 8 calls this the Dhamma. "Let us 

for understanding his put aside questions of the Beginning 

and the Eud," he says, "T will 

teach you the Dhamma : That being thus, this comes to 

1 Visuddhimagga, Chap, xvii (Warrcu, pp. 10S f.). Ktymclogi- 
oalij, prstxtya — getting (something), saruutpada = origination (of some- 
thing else). 

* Snihyutla-nikaya, xxii (ibid., p. *65V 

30— 1606B 


be. From the coming to be of that, this 'irises. That 
being absent, this does not happen. From the cessa- 
tion of that, this ceases." "He who sees the paticca- 
samuppada sees the Dhamma, and he who sees the 
Dhamma, sees the paticcasamuppada." It is again 
compared, to a staircase, by mounting which one can 
look round on the world and see it with the eye of a 
Buddha. 1 It is the failure to grasp' 

twn is the cause of all asserts, is the cause of all our 


trouble. Later Buddhism, as Rhys 
Davids notes, does tot pay much heed to this theory. 
But Buddha himself says that this theory is very 
profound. 3 We have seen already how this theory 
is applied to the solution of the question regarding the 
origin of misery, as well as to that regarding the 
removal of misery. We shall see just now how 
profound in its many-sided implications this theory-is 
in some other respects as well. 

(ii) The Theory of Earma 

^The belief in the theory of karma, it will be seen, 

„„ , , , .is only an aspect of this doctrine. 
The law of karma i» 

an aspect of this The present existence of an 

principle of causaticji. . ,. ., . . ,. . . 

individual is, according to this 
doctrine, as according to that of karma, the effect of its 
past ; and its future would be the effect of its present 

1 Dialogues, II, p. 44, 

* Mahanidina-sutta (Warren, p. 203), 

' Jbi4. 


existence. This has been Been very clearly already in 

connection with the explanation of the origin of suffer- 
ing in the light of the theory of dependent origination. 
The law of karma is only a special form of the more 
general law of causation as conceived by Buddha. 

(t») The Doctrine of Universal Change'and 

The doctrine of dependent origination also yields 

the Buddhist theory of the transi- 

ariXr 8 o tt X e a l B : tory nature of things. All things, 

ditionaud is. therefore, Buddha repeatedly teaches, are 

impermanent. r J ... 

subject to change and decay. As 
everything originates from some condition, it disappears 
when the condition ceases to be. Whatever has a 
beginning has also an end. Buddha, therefore, says, 
" Know that whatever exists arises from causes and 
conditions and is in every reppect impermanent." 1 
" That which seems everlasting will perish, that 
which is high will be laid low ; where meeting is, 
parting will be ; where birth is, death will come." 2 

Transitoriness of life and worldly things is spoken of by 

many other poets and philosophers. 

Subsequent Boudilha ]iuddh;> logically perfects this view 

thinkers further dove- j nto ^ 1G doctrine of imyermanence. 

%£Ji?ZS Zt ^slater followers develop this further 

of momeDtariness. into a theory of momentanness, which 

means not only that everything has 

conditional and, therefore, non-permanent existence, but 

also that things last not even for short periods of time, 

but exist for one f artless moment only. This dootrioe 

1 Mah&parinirvaya-sidra (quoted in Sogen'a System), p 9). 
1 Dhommopada (ibid.). 


of- momentariness of all things is supposed bj later 

writers with elaborate arguments, one of which may 

be briefly noticed here: The criterion of the existence 

(sattu) of n thing is its capacity to 

The view i* deduced produce some effect (artha-kriyFi- 
from the criterion of kuritva-Iaksanam sat). Anon-existent 
existence bb causal thing, like o hare's horn, cannot 
efficiency. produce any effect. Now, from this' 

v criterion of existence, it may be 

deduced that a thing having existence must be momen- 
tary. If, for example, a thing like a seed be not accepted 
to be momentary, but thought to be lasting for more 
than one moment, then we have to show that it is 
capable of producing an effect during each moment it 
exists. Again, if it really remains the same unchanging 
thing during these moments, then it should be able to 
produce the tame effect at every one of those moments. 
But we find that this is not the case. The seed m the 
bouse docs not produce the seedling which is generated 
by a seed sown in the field. The seed in the house cannot 
then be the same as that in the field. But it may be 
said^hat though the seed does not actually produce the 
same effect always, it always has the potentiality to 
produce it, and this potentiality becomes kinetic in the 
presence of suitable auxiliary conditions like earth, water, 
etc. Therefore, the seed is always the same. But this 
defence is weak; because then it is virtually confessed 
that the seed of the first moment is not the cause of the 
seedling, but that the seed modified by the other conditions 
really causes the effect. Hence the 

Nothing exists for seed must be admitted to have 
more than «" e mo- changed. In this way it may be shown 
IneD1, regarding everything that it does not 

stuy unchanged during any two 
moments, because it does not produce the identical effect 
during both moments. Hence everything lasts only for a 
moment. . 

t tir) The Theory of the Non-existence of the Soul 

The law of change is universal ; neither man, nor 
any other being, animate or inanimate, is exempt from 


it. It is commonly believed that in man. there is an 

abiding substance called the soul 
The common belief is ... 

tbat tbere is a per- (a Una), which persists through 

SSJtSr-i diaD &* that overcome the body, 

But this beJief is un- cx i 8 t s before birth and after death, 
tenable, because of the 

law of unirerssl change and migrates trom one body to 

and inr permanence. , ,, „ * . , ., •?., , . 

'another. Consistently with his 

theories of conditional existence and universal change, 
Buddha denies the existence of such soul. But how, it 
may he asked, does he then explain the continuity of a 
perron through different births, or even through the 
different states of childhood, youth and old age? Though 
denying the continuity of an identica l substance in man, 
Buddh a do es rioT" deny the continuituoj the stream 
of successivestates thaT"compose hie life. Life is an 
unbroken series 67 fifties Teach of tEese states depends 
on the condition just preceding and gives rise to the 
Life is an unbroken onejust suc ceeding it. /The. conti- 
stream of successive l 1ll j ty" Ttb e life-series is, therefore, 

states which are cau- * — ' 

sally connected. > based on a causal connection run- 
ning through the different states. This continuity is 
often explained with the example of a lamp burning 
throughout the night. The flame of each moment is 
dependent on its own conditions and different from 
that of another moment which is dependent on other 
conditions. Yet there is an unbroken succession of 
the different flames. Again, as from one flame 

This stream extends aD ° ther m *? h * ^^ ftDd th ° U S h 

backward and foi ward the two are different, they are 
and makes the past. , , ,, -, - .. 

present and future connected causally, similarly, the 

livee continuous. en d. 8 tate of this life may cause the 

beginning of the next. Rebirth is, therefore, not 

156 AN INtfRODtJOTlON TO JNfclAN t»flUiOSOi»H$ 


transmigration, i.e. the migration of* the same soul 

into another body ; it is the causation of the next life 

by the present. 1 The conception of a soul is thus 

replaced here by that of an un- 

Tbe soul ia thus re- 
placed by a continu- broken stream of consciousness as 

on* stream of states. ,, ... , . , Tr .„. 

in tbe philosophy of William 
* •> 

James. As the present state of consciousness inherits 

its characters from the previous one, the paatin.a 
way continues in the present, through its effect. 
Memory thus becomes explicable even without a 
soul. This theory of the non-existence of sou] (Anatta- 
vdda) pla\s a vqry important part in understand- 
ing the teachings of Buddha. He, therefore, 
repeatedly exhorts his disciples to give up the false 
view about the self. Buddha points out thalf people 

■ ■ " """" who suffer from the illusion of 

m a?e e B i 1,U sS° f c"^ r B the self, do not know its nature 
attachment and mi- dearly; still they strongly protest 
that they love the soul ; they want 
to make the soul happy by obtaining solvation. This, 
he wittily remarks, ib like falling in love with the most 
beautiful maiden in the land though she has never been 
seen nor known. 2 Or, it is like building a stair-case 
for mounting a palace which has never been seen." 
Man is only a conventional name for a collection 

,, . , , of different constituents, 4 the mate- 

Man is an nustable 

collection of body, rial body (kiiya), the immaterial 

maoas and conscious- . , ..,,,, „ , 

mind (manas or citta), the formless 

1 Vide Warren, pp. 234 f. 

8 Potthapada-sutla {Dialogues, I, p. 258). 

» Ibid., p. 261. 

* Ibid., pp. 25901. 


consciousness (yijiiana), just as a chariot is a collec- 
tion of wheels, axles, shafts, etc. 1 The existence 
of man depends on this collection and it dissolves 
when the collection breaks up. The soul or the 
ego denotes nothing more than this collection. From 
Man ma, aho be re- , a P s y<*ologi<ul point of vie*, man, 
garded a» » couibina- as perceived from without and 
tion of fire kinds of 
changing »tat»»— pafl- wittuu, is analysable also into a 

ca-akftodhas. collection of five groups (paSca- 

skandhas) of changing elements, namely, (1) form (rupa) 
consisting of the different factors which we perceive in 
this body having form, (2) feelings (vedana) of pleasure, 
pain and indifference, (3) perception including under- 

* * " 

standing and naming (saSjSa), (4) predispositions 
or tendencies generated by the impressions of p?st 
experience (samskaras), and (5) consciousness itself 
(vijnana). 2 

In summing up his teachings, Buddha himself once 
said: " Both m the past and even 

dta* ZZgl : B .S- now do I sefc forth J« st thiB •• 8 °ffer- 
ferijiB ;«nd cessation of i n o (duhkha) and cessation of 
goffering. ° 

suffering." Rhys Davids, quoting 

this authority, observes that the theory of dependent 
origination (in its double aspect of explaining the world 
and explaining the origin of suffering), together with the 
formula of the eightfold path, gives us " not only the 
whole of early Buddhism in a nutshell, but also just 
those points concerning which we find the most empha- 
tic affhmations of Dhamma as Dhamma ascribed to 

1 Milinda-pafiha, Warren, pp. 120-33. 

' Saihyuttanikiya, ibid , pp. 138-45. Vide also Mrs. Rhya Davids. 
Buddhist Psychology, Cbap. Ill : Sasaki : Outlines, pp. 160-5!}. 



Gautama." ' And this is the substance of what we 
have learnt in the above account of Buddha's teachings. 

III. The Schools of Bauddha Thilosophy 
* • 

It has been found again and again in the history of 
human thought that every reasoned 

,vS2SSK » ttam i* to avoid pM°H>pby » a ^s 

rise to s new kind of a thinker into a new kind of philo- 

uietapnysics. *- 

sophy. Inspite of Buddha's aver- 
sion to theoretical speculation, he never wanted to 
accept, nor did he encourage his followers to accept, 
any course of action without reasoning and criticism. 
He was extremely rational and contemplative, and 
wanted to penetrate into the very roots of human exist* 
ence, and tried to supply the full justification of the 
ethical' principles he followed and taught. It was no 
wonder, therefore, that be himself 
taiud tE*Sm S incidentally laid down the founda- 

positiriKn, phenome- tion of a. philosophical system. His 
naliun and empiricism. c c j 

philosophy, partly expressed and 

partly implicit , may be called positivism in so far as he 
taught that our thoughts should be confined to this 
world and to the improvement of our existence here. 
It may be called phenomenalism in so far as he iaught 
that we were sure only of the phenomena we experi- 
enced. It is, therefore, a kind of empiricism in method 
because experience, according to him, was the source 
of knowledge. 

Dialogues, 11, p. 44. 


These different aspects of his philosophy came to be 

developed by bis followers along 

These are developed different lines as th ey were requir- 
bybU diverse follower* 
along different lines. ed to justify Buddba's teaching, 

to defend it from the severe criticism 
it bad to face in India and outside, and to convert 
otber tbiDkers to' their faith. Buddha's reluctance 
to discuss the ten metaphysical questions concerning 
things beyond our experience and bis fiieuce about 
tbem came to be interpreted by his followers in differ, 
ent lights. Some took this attitude as only the sign of 
a thoroughgoing empiricism which wast frankly admit 
the inability of the mind to decide non-empirical ques- 
tions. According to thit- explana- 
Empiricism and seep- ti Buddha's attitude would be 
regarded as scepticism. Some 
other followers, mostly the Mahayanists, interpreted 
Buddha's view neither as a denial of reality .beyond 
objects of ordinary experience, nor as a denial of any 
means of knowing the non-empiricical reality, but only 
as signifying the indescribability of that transcendental 
experience and reality. The justification of this last 
interpretation can be obtained from some facts of 
Buddba's life and teachings. Ordinary empiricists 
believe tbat our sense-experience is the only basis of all 
our knowledge ; they do dot admit the possibility of 
any non-sensuous experience. Buddha, however, taught 
the possibility of man's attaining in nirvana an experi- 
ence or consciousness which was 
Mysticism and tran- not g enera t e d by the activity of 
the senses. The supreme value 
and importance that he attached to this non-empirical 


consciousness, justify his followers in supposing that be 
regarded this as the supreme reality, as well. The 
fact that very often Buddha used to say ' that he had 
a profound experience of things ' far beyond,' which 
is ' comprehended only by the wise ' and ' not grasped 
by mere logic/ may be taken to mean that his non- 
empirical experience 'can neither he logically proved 
with arguments nor be expressed in empirical ideas and 
language. These grounds lead some followers, as we 
shall see, to raise a philosophy of mysticism and tran- 
scendentalism out of the very silence of Buddha. The 
nemesis of neglected metaphysics thus overtakes 
Buddhism soon after the founder's passing away. 

Buddhism, though primarily an ethical-religious 
movement, thus came to give 

Tkare ar&about thirty birth to about thirty schools, not 
phief schools of later 

Bndahtom. counting the mmor ones. And 

some of these get into the deep 
waters of metaphysical speculation, heedless of the 
founder's warning. Of these many schools of Buddhis- 
tic thought we i-hall first notice the four well-known 
systems as discussed generally by Indian writers. Ac- 
cording to this account, (\) some Bauddha philosophers 
are nihilists (Siinya-vadi or Madhyamika), (2) others 

are subjective idealists {Vijnaua- 
Four schools of Baud- .-a- ir _- -_ \ /.n ,l 

dha philosophy distin- vadl or Yogacara), (.-J) others again 
e ui » hed ,_ b y ,.. Indian are representationists or critical 

critics of Buddhism. 

realists (Bahyanumeya-vadl or 
Sautrantika) , and (4) the rest are direct realists (Bahya- 
pratyaksa-vadl or Vaibhasika). The first two of the 
above four schools come under Mahayana and the 

.1 Vide RrahmajSla-sutta. 2 Vide Sogen, Systems, p. », 


last two under Hlnayana. It should be noted,: hoa^ 

ever, that under both Mahayiina and Hinayana ttjpe 

are many othei schools. 1 <. 

The fourfold classification of Bauddha philosophy 

is based ujwii two chief questions, 
This fourfold division , .1 . . « 

is based on two prob- • ° n e metaphysical or concerning 

S" : «2«,» T 'Tto« realil >' aild ,he otber n>M°™> (bis qnes- logical or concerning thu knowing 


of reality. To the metaphysical 
question "Is (here at all any reality, mental or non- 
mental?" three different replies are given : 1(a) The 
Madhyamikas hold 2 that there is no reality, mental 
or non-mental ; that aJl is void (sunya). Therefore, 
they have been known as the nihilists (sunya -vadins). 
(b) The Yogacaras hold that only the mental is real, 
the non-mental or the material world is all void of 
reality. They are, therefore, called subjective idealists 
tvij&ana- vadins). (c) Still another class of Bauddhas 
hold thai both the mental and the non-mentaj are 
real. They may, therefore, be called realists. Some- 
limes they are styled Sarvastivadins (i.e. those 
who hold the reality of all things) , though this term 
is used in a little different sense by some Buddhist 

writers.' 1 But when the further 
rr^knowVTTwo epistemological question is asked.: 

replies to tbis qneB. "How is external reality known 

to exist?" this third group of 

1 Ibid., Sogen mentions 21 sobooU of Hinayaria and eight' qf 
Mabayana, which ue said to have mas; other less .known schools 

1 According to non-Buddhist Indian critics. This interpretation is 
not supported by the Mahayaoist writers as will be shown later. 

3 Vtde, for example, Steherbatsky, The Central Conception bf 
Buddhism, pp. 63-76 (where 8arv4stiiYadin= Vaibbasika). 



thinkers, who believe in external reality, give two 
different answers. Some of tbem, called Sautrantikas, 
hold tbat external objects are not perceived but known 
by inference. Others, known as Vaibhasikas, hold that 
the external world is directly perceived. Thus we 
have the four schools, representing«the four important 
standpoints. This classification has much philosophical 
importance, even in the light of contemporary Western 
thooght, where we find some of these different views 
advocated with great force. Let us consider these 
four schools. 

1. The Mddhyamika School of Sunya-vada 

•The founder of this school is Eaid to be Nagarjuna, 
„ . , , who was a Brahmin bcm in South 

WftgSr;uDS, the low- 
er of this Bcbool of India about the eecond century 

un,av *' A.D. 1 Asvnghosa, the author of 

Btddhacarita, is also regarded as a pioneer. In his 
famous work, Madhyamihasastra , Naparjuna 6tates, 
with great dialectical skill and echoldfrhip, the phi- 
losophy of the Madhyamika school. 

The doctrine of Sunya-vada has been understood Jn 

' ,, . , India, by non-Buddhit,t philosophers 
Sfinje-vfida ji under J r 

atood as nihilism by in general, to mean tbat the uni- 

Isdian writers. , , ,. , ., . ... 

verse is totally devoid of reality, 

that everything is ivmya, or void. In setting forth 

this doctrine in his Sarvadariana-sangraha, Madhava- 

carya has mentioned the following 

• flKiSiij'S'S as an «S™»«* » its support, 
tbing* : objects, know- The self (or the knower), the 

ledge and knower. s_^. - 

obj ect (or the known) and know- 

ledge are mutually i nterdependent. The reality of 

1 Vide Sogen, System, Chap. V, p. 187. 


one depends op ea ch of the ot her two , and if one be 
fal se, the others a lso must . be bo (just as the father- 
hood of any person will be proved false if the existence 
of his children be proved to be false). But it must be 
admitted by all that when we perceive a snake, in 
a rope, the object perceived,' namely, the snake is 
absolutely false. Hence the mind or the subject which 
knows such an object turns out to be false and 
all knowledge also becomes false. Thus it may be_ 
concluded that all that we perceive within or without, 
along with their perception and tho percipient mind, 
are illus ory like dream-objects . 'There is, therefore, 
nothing, mental or non-mental, whi?h is real. The 
universe is gunya or void of reality. 

From Buch arguments it would appear that, accord- 
ing to the Madhyamika view, every- 

d.!?.Wh.^S tbing is unreal. is that 
meuel wurid.and not ^^ a v j ew came t De known 
all xeaMy. 

as nihilism in Europe as well as 
in India (where it has also been termed *Sarva- 
vainaiika-vada by some writers). The word siinya, 
used by the Madhyaniikas themselves, is chiefly 
responsible for th is notion — because s'unya means 
ordinal ily void or empty. But when we study this 
philosophy more closely, we come to realize that the 
Madhyamika view is not really nihilism, as ordinarily 
supposed, and that it does^ not deny all real ity, but 
- only the apparent phenom enal world per cei ved by u s. 
Behind this phenomenal world there is a reality which 
is not describable by any character, mental or non- 
mental, that we perceive. Being devoid of phenomenal 
characters, it is called eunya. But this iB only the 



negative aspect of the ultimate reality; it is only a 
description of what it is not. In 

Sflnja means tbe 
indescribable nature of the Lankdvatara-sutra (quoted by 

p om * ' Madhavacarya himself) it is stated 

that the real nature of objects cannot be ascertained 

by the intellect and cannot, therefore, be described." 

Thai; which is real must be independent and should not 

A th" can ot be < ^ e P ent ' on anything else for its exis- 
naid to be either real or tence and origination. But every- 

anreal, or both reel , . . , , . , , 

and unreal, or neither thing we know of 18 dependent 01) 

real nor unreal. m)me ^^^^ Hei)Ce it cannot 

be real. Again, it cannot be said to be unreal. 
Because an unreal thing, hike a castle in the air, can 
never 'come into existence. To say ihat it is both real 
and .unreal or that it. is neither real nor unreal, would 
be unintelligible jargon. 1 ! Sfinyata or voidness is the 

name for tins indeterminable, 
*£$%££££' i'^escribable real nature of things. 

Things appear to exjst , but when 
we try to understand the real nature of their existence 
our intellect is baffled. It cannot be called either real 
or unreal, or both real and unreal, or neither real nor J 

H will bo soon that in the above argument, the inde- 
scribable nature of things is deduced 

Sfiny.ta is only an from ihe fa . ot of 'heir being dependent 
aspect of tbe dependent on other things or conditions. Nagar- 
natorc of things. juna suys, therefore, "The fact o£ 

dependent origination is called by us 
sunyatu." 2 " There is no dh arma_iciliari>cter^ of things 
which is not dependent on some other condition regardin g 

1 Sarvadarfana-sohgroho, Chap. TI. 

» MOdhyam'ka-tMra. Chap. 21, Karikd, IS. 


it s origin . Therefore, there is no dharma which is not 
sunya. ,J ' It would appear, therefore, that £unya only 
means the conditional character of things, and their conse- 
quent constant changeability and indeterminability or 
indescribability. 2 

This view is called the middle (madbyama) path, 

because it avoids extreme views by 

This view .voids the denying, for ..example, both absolute 

Ik? Ste " ™ii$' ™lity ^d absolute unreality of things 

and the absolute un- and asserting their conditional ezia- 

reality of things, tence. This was the reason why 

Hence it is known as ^Buddha, as we saw. culled the theory 

£eT of dependent origination-the middle 

path. 3 And so Nagurjuna says* that 

Sunya-viida is called the middlo path because it implies 

the theory of dependent origination. * 

Th< conditionality of things which makes their own 
nature (svabhava) una<<certainablc, 
Sunya-vada is a kiud either as real or unreal, etc., maybe 
of relativity. also regarded as a kind of relativity. 

Every character of a thing is condi- 
tioned by something else and, therefore, its existence is 
relative to that condition. Sunya-vada can, ther efore, also 
be interprete d^ tts a theory of relativity which declares thaT 
no, thing, ~no phenomenon experienced, has a fixed, 
abs olute/ independent character or its own (svabhava) and. 
therefore, no desc ription of an y p henomenon can hejsairt to 
be uncondit ionally true . " " " ~" " 

To this philosophy of phenomena (or things as tbey 
appear to us), the Mudhyamikas add a 
V The. positive side of philosophy of noumenon (or reality in 
the Madhyamika doe- ji se ]f). Buddha's teachings regarding 
&dtt£lS£K dependen * origination impermanence. 
is unconditional and etc., apply, they hold, oniy to the 
free from change. phenomena] world, to things commonly 

observed by us in ordinary experience. 
But when nirvana is attained and the conditions of sense- 
experience and the appearance of phenomena are controlled, ' 
what would be the nature of (he resultant experience? To 

1 lbid.,Karikal'.K 

2 Sogen, System*, p. 14 and pp. 194-98 ; Suzuki, Outline*. 

* Vide ante. 

* Karika 18 quoted above. 


this we cannot apply the conditional characters true of 
phenomena. The MadhyamhW, therefore, bold that there 
is a transoendentni r< al.ty (noumenoo) behind th e pho no- 
menu] one nnd it is free lrom cbuuge, c ondin'onaiity and a ll 
other phenomenal characters. As N'agarj jua sayB : '" J'here 

are twu truths, on wbicti Buddha 'a 

NSgirjana speaks, teaching of Dbarma depends, one is 
therefore, of two empirical (sumvrti-sulya) and m> ant 
truths, •.inpirioil or for t ' he or dinoiy people, another is the 
phenomenal and tran- , . .' ' , * ' , ... , 

aueDilental or nou- transcendental or the absoiutely true 
meual. one (pi<ramartha-sat>a). Those who 

do not know the distinction between 
these two kinds of truth, cunnot understand the profound 
mystery of Buddha's teachings." 1 

The truth of the lowe r order js only a s tepping-stone to 

the attain ment of the higher. The 
The higher truth natures oi nirvana-experience which 
realised iu n>rvana, take* one beyond ordinary experience 
cute.dewr-bed oni* cannot be described, it can only be 
as negation of what is , . ' . -' 

known in ordinary suggested negatively with tho help of 
ezpeaietce.- words which describe our common 

experience. Nagaruma, therefore, des- 
cribes nirvuna with a series of negatives, thus: ''That 
which is not known (ordinarily), not unew, not 

destroyed, not eternal, not suppressed, 
,fc» No positive desorip- not generated is called nirvuna."' 
8m of it is po=aible. As with nirvana so 'also wiih the 
^v. Tathagata or oue who has realized 

nirvana. H<s nature al.-o cannot be described. That is 
why, when Buddha was asked what becomes oi the Tatha- 
gata afttr nirvana is attained, he declined to discuss the 
quest ioD. 

In the same light the silence of Buddha regarding all 

metaphysical questions about uon- 

This accounts for empirical things can be interpr-ted 

Buddha's uk-oce on to mean thut be believed m a tran- 

matters beyond ordi- scendental experience and reality, the 

nary experience. truths about which cannot be describ-" 

ed in terms of comm in experience. 

Buddha's frequent statements that he had realized some 

1 MSdhyamika/dttra, Chap. 24, K&rikfa 8-9. 
1 Ibid., Chap. 86, K&tika 8. 


profound truth which reasoning cannot grasp, can be cited 
also to support this Madhyamika contention about the 
iransoendental. 1 

It may be noted here that in its conception of twofold 

truth, its denial of the phenomenal 

The points of agree- world, its negative description of the 

pient between ^ Bud- transcendental, and its conception of 

interpreted" 3 by 8 the ni P a, ? a as (lie attainment* of unity 

Madhyainikas) and with the transcendental self, the 

that of the Upanisads. Madhyamika approaches very close to 

Advaita Vedanta as taught in some 

Upanisads and elaborated luter by (xaudapfida and 


2. The Yogiicdra School of Subjective Idealism 

While agreeing with the Madhyamikas, as to the 

„ unreality of external objects,' the 

Denial of Uip reality 

or the tuental is self- Yogacara school differs from irjem 
ry. ^ holding that the mind fcitta) 

cannot be regarded as unreal. For then all reasoning 
and thinking would be false and the Madhyamikas could 
not even establish that their own arguments were 
correct. To say that everything mental or non-mental 

Mind must, therefore, is unreal is suicidal. The reality of 
be admitted. the mind, should at least be admitted 

in order to make correct thinking possible. 

The mind, consisting of a stream of different kinds 
of ideas , is the only reality. Things 

The objeots perceived , , , , . , . , . , 

are all ideas in the that appear to be outside the mind, 
lw our body as well as other objects, 

are merely ideas of the mind. Just as in cases of 
dreams and hallucinations a man fancies to perceive 

1 Vide Prof. Radhakrishnan's artiole, " The teaching of Buddha by 
speech and silence," Hibbeit Journal, April, 1981, for a fuller disouasion. 

22— 1805B 


things outside, though they do not really exist there, 

similarly the objects which appear 
^The mind alone in tQ be oat ther6i are reaW y ideag 

in the mind. The existence of 
any external object cannot be proved, bec ause it can- 
no t be shown that th e object is 

»8jr? '' U ° """^ diger ept from th . e consci ousness "of 
the object. As Dharmaklrti slaFesT" 
the blue colour and the consciousness of the blue 
colour are identical, because they are never perceived 
to exist separately. Though really one, they appear 
as two owing to illusion, just as the moon appears as 
two to some owing to defective vision. As an object is 
never known without the consciousness of it, the 
object cannot be proved to have an existence indepen- 
dent of consciousness. 

TV\&Xo$ftaam»\w>povttto\ifc ttxe iouowmg absurdities 
vinicu arise from Ihe. admission ot an 

It any external reaV 0>a V**> 6Xtema\ to t\» mmA. kll 
ity is admitted, many external objeot, if admitted, must be 
difficultiea aiiae. either pwtless (i.e., atomic) or com- 

posite (i.e., composed of many parts). 
But atoms are too small to be perceived. A composite 
thing (like a pot) also cannot be per- 
il). An external object ceived, because it is not possible to 
rannot ba perceived. perceive simultaneously all the sides 
and parts of the object. Nor can it 
be said to be perceived part by part, because, if those 
parts are atomic, they are too small to be perceived, 
and if they are composite, the original objection again 
arises. So ii one admits e xtra-mental objects, the 
perception of thes e, objects ca nnot be explained. These 
objections do not arise if the objeot be nothing other 
than consciousness, because the ques- 

JfilJFZZZFSZS! tion of P arts and whole doe8 not 
object cause* percep- .,f , , 

tionU unexplained. anse ^th regard to . consciousness. 

Another difficulty is that the 

consciousness of the object cannot arise before 


the object has come into existence. Neither can it 
arise afterwards, because the object, being momentary,* 
vanishes as soon as it arises. The external object, accord- 
ing to those who admit it, being the cause of consciousness 
cannot foe simultaneous with consciousness. Nor can it 
be said that the object may be known by consciousness 
after it has ceased to exist. For in that case the object 
being in the past there cannot be any immediate knowledge 
or perception of it. Perception of present objects, as we 
must admit always to have, remains, therefore, un- 
explained if objects are supposed to be external to the 
mind. This difficulty does not arise, if the object be 
supposed to be nothing other than consciousness. 

The Yogucura view is called Vijnuna-vuda or idealism 

because it admits tnat there is only 

The Yogicara view one kind of realty which is of the 

is called Vijflina-vada nature of consciousness (vijfifins) and 

because it admits objects which appear to be material 
viioana or conscious- ' , , , r r . . ,, 

dims as the only real- OF external to consciousness are really 
i(y. It is subjective ideas or states of consciousness. This 
idealism. theory may be described further as 

subjective idealism, because according 
to it the existence of an object perceived is not different 
from the subject or the perceiving mind. « 

One of the chief difficulties of subjective idealism is : 

• If an object depends for its existence 

The ideas of objects solely on tbe subject, then, how is it 

"? j* 11 iJ!t. teat in the *h a * the mind cannot create at will 

S'^Jf^^m 011 ! an y ob J« ot at aQ y time? How is it 

or a particular moment "• • j xi. * i • j. j a l 

makea particular idea explained that objects do not change, 

mature or become appear or disappear at the will of the 

conscious and vivid. peroeiver ?/ To explain this difficulty, 

the Vijnuna-vtidin says that the mind 
is a stream of momentary conscious states and within the 
stream there lie buried the impressions (samskara) of all 
past experience. At a particular moment that latent 
impression comes to the surface of consciousness for whioh 
the circumstances of the moment are the most favourable. 
At that moment that impression attains maturity (pari- 

paka), so to say, and develops into 
objecUs wneivedt imme< * iate consciousness or percep- 
a particular time. * *' on - It is thus that at that particular 

moment only that object, whose 
latest impression can, under the circumstances, reveal 


itself, becomes perooived; juBt as in the case of ibe 
revival of past impressions iu memory, though all the 
impressions are in the mind, only some are remembered 
at a particular time. This is why only some object can 
be perceived at a time and not any at will. 

The mind considered in its aspect of being a store- 
house or home of all impressions is 
. The mind, as the cabled by the Vijfianavudins Alaya- 
home of «ll ]«tent vijfiana.' Ilmay be regarded as the 
35ta" * T - potential, mmd -and answers to the 

soul or iiftnon of other systems, with 
the difference that it is not one unchanging substance like 
the soul, but is a stream of continuously changing states. 
Through culture and self-control this 
Culture end control Aiayavijfiiina or the potential mind 
of the mind can stop n grn( j Ua ]] v Blop t h e ltf j 8 j n o f 

the illusions of exter- • j • . ■ ' . , \ . j j 8 U 

nal objects and attach- undesirable mental states and develop 

inent to them. into the ideal state of nirvana. Other- 

< wise, it only gives rise to thoughts, 

desires, attachment which bind one more and more to the 
fictitious external world. The mind, the only reality 
according to this school, is truly its own piace, it can make 
heaven of hell and bell of heaven. 3 

The Yogacaras are so called either because they used 
to practise yo^a 3 bv which they came 

YoBfeMa n " aBiBg ° f t0 rtalize the fi0]e "reality of mind (as 
*' Alayavijfmnn) dispelling all belief in 

the external world, or because they combined in them both 
critical inquisiliveness (yoga) and good conduct (acdra/.* 
Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga are the famous leaders of 
the Yogucara school. Lahhavatarasutra is one of its most 
important works. Taitvaeahgraha of Santaraksita, with a 
commentary of Kamalasila, 8 is another very scholarly 
work of the school. 

1 Vide Bogen, Syttemt, p. 258. 

* Ibid , p. 269. 

* Fide Sogen, Syttemt, p. 213. 

* Sarvadarianatahgraka, Oh. II. 

* This wo. k has been published recently in ' Oaek wad's Oriental 
Series.' Vide p. U of the Sanskrit IntroduoM'on for the view that this 
work belongs to the Yogacara school. 


3. The Sautrantika School of Reprcsentationism 

The Sautrantikas believe in the reality not only of 

The menuuad the the mind, but also of external 

asternal ere both reel. bjectH. They point out that 

without tbe supposition of some external objects, 

it is not possible to explain even 
Proofs for the reality ., ... , 

of external objecte : the illusory appearance of ex- 

ti) If there were no ternal objects. If one never per- 
external object, it , , 

would be meaningless ceived anywhere any external 

to say ' consciousness •_. „ , _ .» _ . 

appears as tbe ester- object, he could not say, as a 

nal object." Vijfianavadin does, that, through 

illusion, consciousness appears /tkcan external object 
Tbe phrase ' like an external object' is as meaningless 
,„ as ' like the son of a barren 

(2) Objects are felt 

directly as being out- mother, because an external 

81 ' e ,e " object is said by the VijSanavadin 

to be wholly unreal and never perceived. Again, the 

argument from the simultaneity of consciousness and 

object to their identity is also defective. Whenever 

we have the perception of an object like a pot, tbe pot 

is felt as external and consciousness of it as internal 

{i.e., to be in the mind). So the object from the very 

beginning is known to be different 
(8) If a pot were • . . ., .. . . . 

perceived as identical from and not identical With con- 

SJU^'i'Sfte *™™**«*' " tbe pot perceived 
pot* and not, 'There were identical with the subject, tbe 

is tbe pot. ' 

perceiver would have said, "I am the 
pot." Besides, if there were no external objects, the 
distinction between tbe 'consciousness of a pot' 
and 'the consciousness of a cloth* could not be 
explained, because a& consciousness both are identical; 
it is only regarding tbe objects that tbey differ. 


Hence we must admit the existence of different 

externa] objects outside conscious* 

bu^if^rof n«s These objects give particular 

them. Hen©- objects forms to the different states of con 

ontudeean be tn feirtd 

from tbeir mental sciousness. From these forms or 

pictures or ideas. ...... 

representations of the objects in the 

mind we can infer the existence of their causes, i.e. 

the objects outside the mind. 

The reason why we cannot perceive at will any object 

at any time and place, lies in the fact 

Perception of external that a perception depends on four 

objects depend* on four differnt conditions' and not simply en 

SET '£rz3ft . *• mind - Th <*« m « st be the ob i eot 

conditions. to impart its form to consciousness, 

there must be the consoious mind (or 
the .state of the mind at the just previous moment) to cause 
the consciousness of the form, there must be the sense to 
determine the kind of the consciousness, that is, whether 
the consciousness of that object would be visual, tactual or 
of any other kind. Lastly, there must be some favourable 
auxiliary condition, sueh as light, convenient position, 
perceptible magnitude, etc All these combined together 
bring about the perception of the object. The form of the 
object thus generated in the mind, is the effect of the 

The effect of the* ° b J e + Ct ' amon « ° th * T ?*?&> "l 

conditions is the copy existence of the object is not of 

or idea of the objeet course perceived, because what mind 

produced in the mind, immediately knows is the copy or 

We isfer the object representation of the object in its own 
from this idea. . t, , . ' . . . ., 

consciousness. But from thiBitcan 

infer the object without which the copy would not arise. 
The Sautrantika theory is, therefore, called also the 
theory of the inferability of external 

'aOXUJSZT* ot ob i ectB (Babyanumeya-vada). The 
Bantrantika. n&me , 8autrnntika . , B given to thiB 

school because it attaches exclusive importance to the 
authority of the Sutra-pitaka." The arguments used by 

1 Tbese are called respectively, the alambana, the tamanaatara, the 
adnipati and the sahakin pratyayaa (conditions). 

* Many works of this class are named * snttaota.' Vidt Bogen, 
Syttmu, p. 6, for this interpretation of 'sautrantika.' 


this school fos the refutation of subjective idealism 
anticipated long ago some of the most important arguments 
which modern Western realists like Moore use to refute 
the subjective idealism of Berkeley. The Sautrantika 
position, in epistemology, resembles ' representatiooism ' 
or the ' copy theory of ideas ' which was common among 
Western philosophers like Locke. This exists even now in 
a modified form among some critioal realists. 

4. The Vaibhasika School 

While agreeing with Sautrantikas regarding the 

reality of both the mental and the 

lite leSSki'uS non-mental, Vaibbasikas, like many 

reality of both mind mo dern neo-rea!ists, point out 
and extern*! objects. r 

that unless we admit that external 

objects are perceived by us, their existence cannot 

be known iii^-aey — Sflier - way. Inference of fire 

from the perception of smoke is 

But unlike Santrin- -ui u ■ , L , , 

tiksi they hold that possible because in the past we 

SE2E 1 t object * *'° have perceived both smoke and 

directly known in Per- * 

ception and not in- fire together. One who has never 


perceived fire previously cannot 
infer its existence from the perception of smoke. 
If external objects were never perceived, as Sautranti- 
kas hoid, then they could not even be inferred, simply 
from their mental forms._JT | oone unacquainted with 
an external object, the mental form would not appear 
to be the co py or the sign of the existence of aja_exfera- 
mental ob ject, but an original thing which does not 
owe its existence to anything outside the mind. 
Either, therefore, we have to accept subjective idealism 
(vijnana-vada) or, if that has been found unsatisfactory, 
we muBt admit that the external object is directly 


known. The Vaibhasikas thus come to hold a theory of 
direct realism ' (bahya-pratyaksa-vada). 

The Abhidhamma treatises formed the general founda- 
tion of the philosophy of the realists. 
Meaniog of ' Vaibha- The Vaibhasikas followed exclusively 
?ika.' a particular commentary, Vibhdfa (or 

, Akhidhammci-mahivibhatd) on an 

Abhidhamma treatise (Abhidharma-jflana-prasthdna,"-) 
Hence their name. 

IV. The Religious Schools of Buddhism : 


In respect of* religion Buddhism is divided, as 
we know, into the two great schools, the Hinayana 
and the Mahayana. 

Representing faithfully the earlier form of Buddhism 

the Hinayana, like Jainism, stands 

The Hinayana school as the example of a religion without 

adheres to the tench- ,, _ , _, , . , 

ing of Buddha that kod. Tne place of God is taken 
STC^S"!*? * * ^ «« universal moral law 
of karma or dharma* which governs 
the universe in such a way that no fruit of action is 
lost and every individual gets the mind, the body 
and the place in life that he deserves by bis past deeds. 
The life and teachings of Buddha furnish the ideal 
as well as the promise or the possibility of every 
fettered individual's attaining liberation. With an 
unshaken confidence in hits own power of achievement 
and a faith in the moral law that guarantees the 
preservation of every bit of progress made, the 
Hinayanist hopes to obtain liberation in this or any 

1 Vide J. E. Turner, A Theory of Direct Real, am, p. 8. 
* Vide Sogen, Systems, pp. 102 and 106. 


other future life by following Buddha's noble path, 
ffis goal is Arhatsbip or Nibbana, the state that 
extinguishes all his misery. Htnayana is, therefore, 
a religion of self-help. It sticks fast to Buddha's 
Baying: ' Be a light unto thyself." Everyone can 
and should achieve the highest goal for and by Jiimself. 
It is inspired by the last words that Buddha said before 
he passed away : " Decay is inherent in all things 
composed of parts. Work out your salvation with 

This path which depends neither on divine mercy 
nor on any other foreign help, 

™WiW:.i?wT PX<ept tl,e idcal set by Bnddha 

and the moral law of the universe, 
is meant only for the strong, who are all too few in 
this world. 

As the fold of Buddhism widened in course ot 

time, it came to include not only the few select 

, % . , persons fit to follow this difficult 

It did not miti there - 
rote, the multitudes of ideal, but also multitudes of 
ordinary converts. , ... • j _ ■ i 

halt convinced nominal converts 
who neither understood the Path nor had the 
necessary moral strength to follow it. With the 
stipjjort of royal patrons like Asoka, Buddhism gained 
in number but lost its original quality. The bulk 
of people who accepted Buddhism, on grounds other 
than moral, brought it down to their own level. They 
came with their own habits, beliefs and traditions which 
soon became a part of the new faith they accepted. 
The teacher* had to choose between upholding 
the ideal at the cost of number and upholding the 

1 ' almadlpo bh»va,' 


number at the cost of the ideal. A few sturdy ones 
preferred the first. But the majority could not resist 
the temptation of the second. They came thus to 
build what they were pleased to 
uS%&*ulr*£ call the Great Vehicle, Mahayana, 

to suit »u tastes and contrasting it with the orthodox 

faith of the former, which they 
nicknamed the Lesser Vehicle, Hinayana. By the 
criterion of number Mahayana surely deserved the 
name, for it was designed to be a religious omnibus, 
with room enough to hold and suit persons of all tastes 
and cultures. • 

Its accommodating spirit and missionary >.oal made it 

possible for Mahayana to penetrate 

The accommodating into lhe Himalayas and move across 

9pm t and the mission- „,. T j x- j . ■ 

ary zeal of Mahayana. ,0 Cnlnil - Ja P !,n and k« rea Bn d if>BOrb 

peoples of diverse cultures. As it 

progressed, it assumed newer and newer form6, assimilating 

the beliefs of the people it admitted. Modern Mahayanist 

writers are reasonably proud of their faith and lovr to call 

it a living, progressive religion wlio.'.e adaptability is the 

sign of its vitality. 

The accommodating spirit of Mabayiinism can be 

traced back to the catholic concern 

J£ i? T &S3 which Bnddl.a himself had for 

Snottfbeinir *he salvation of all beings. Mabii- 

yanisin emphasizes this aspect 

of the founder's life and teachings. Mahayanists 

„. . point out that the long life of 

The object of en- ° 

lightenment is not Buddha, after enlightenment , dedi- 
one'sown salvation. , , ,, , , 

cated to the service of the 
suffering beings, sets an example and an ideal, 
namely, that enlightenment should be sought 

iitii bauddMa pSIlosoPhv. 179 

not for one' '* own salvation, but for being able to 

minister to the moral needs of others. In fact, in 

. . course of time, Mahayauism came 

It is (he ability to J 

liberate ail suffering to look upon the Hinayanist Faint's 
anxiety to liberate himself, as a 

lower ideal which had yet an clement of selfishness in 

it, however subtle or sublime this 

The greatness of selfishness might be. The ideal of 

Mahayaoa li«B in this ., , ... . , . . 

spirit, and the inferior- the salvation of al! sentient beings 
K?«kofit ai8<lue th » 8 came t0 be regarded as the 
higher aspect of Buddha's teachings. 
The greatness of their faith, Mahay a Diets contend, 
consists in this ideal and the inferiority of the Hlna- 
yanists in the lack of it. 1 

Thr new elements which Maiuiyanism came to 
acquire or dovolop in its different branches were many 
and sometimes conflicting. We shall mention here 
only a few of the more important ones. 

(a) The Ideal of Bodhisaltva : As noted previously 
Mahayana regards even the desire for one's own salva- 
tion as selfish at bottom. In the place of personal 
liberation, it establishes the ' liberation of all sentient 

1 All these aspects of Mahayanisin are summed up by the eminent 
Japanese writer, D. T. Stisuki. in his Outlines of MahSydna Buddhism, 
thus : '' It IMah&yanisinJ is the Buddhism which, inspired by a pro- 
gressive spirit, broadened its original scope, so far as it did not contradict 
the inner significance of the teachings of the Buddha, and which assimi- 
lated other raligio-pbiloftophicnl beliefs within itself, whenever it felt 
that, by to doing, people of more widely different characters and intellect- 
ual endowments could be 9aved "(p. 10). 


beings ' as the ultimate goal of every Mahayauist's 
spiritual aspirations. The vow 

The ideal of Bodhi- ,, , , , „■..., . 
»»4tva is attainment of that a devout Mahay amst 18 ex- 
perfect wisdom with a p ec ted to take is that he would 
view to being abla to r 

lead all beings out of try to achieve the 8tate of Eu- 

nsisery. , 

lightenment. Bodhisattva (the 

Wisdom-State-of- Existence), not to live aloof from the 

world but to work with perfect wisdom and love among 

the multitudes of suffering beings for removing their 

misery and achieving their salvation. The spiritual 

ideal of Mahayana has, therefore, come to be called 


One who has attained this ideal of Enlightenment 

and works for the salvation of other 

aio^witfwuZ: beings is also called a Bodhisattva. 

m«k» the perfect J> er - Love and wisdom (kamnu and 

son or Bodhisattva. 

prajfia) constitute the essence of his 
existence. 1 Speaking about such perfect persons 
Nagarjuna says in the Bodhicitta: " Thus the essen- 
tial nature of all Bodhisattvas is a great )o\ing heart 
(lnahakaruna-citta) and all sentient beings constitute 
the object of its love." 2 " Therefore, all liodhisattvas, 
in order to emancipate sentient beings from misery, 
are inspired with great spiritual energy and mingle 
themselves in the filth of birth and death. Though 
thus they make themselves subject to the laws of birth 
and death, their hearts are free from sins and attach- 
a » j, • l ments. They are like unto those 

A Bodlusattva ex- J 

changes bis deserts immaculate, undented lotus-flowers 

with tboBe of the fellow- , . , , , 

beingB and suffer to which grow out of mire, yet arc 
relieve theit miaerj. not contaminated by it.'" By an 

exchange (parivarta) of the fruits of action, a Bodhi- 

1 Vide Suzuki, Outline*,?. 296. * /oti.,p.29S. 3 /&id., pp. 298-W- 


sattva relieves t,be miseries due to others with his own 
good deeds and suffers the consequences of their actions 

This ideal of Bodhisattva is nurtured by the Mahayana 
philosophy, which comes to think that all individuals are 
unreal as separate particular phenomena, and that they arc 
all really grounded in one transcendental Reuiity» (Aiaya- 
vijfiilna, according to some Yogacaras- 
The ideal of Bodbi- or Sunya or Tathatu, according to 

of »U btinga. ore the partial or ihusory manifesta- 

tions. This philosophy favoured the 
rejection of the idea of the individual ego an" acceptance of 
an universal absolute self (Mahfttmun or Paramutman) 1 as 
the real self of man. Striving for the liberation of ail and 
not simply for the little self (hinatmun) was, therefore, the 
iogical outcome of this philosophy of the unity of all beings. 
•Moreover, the idea that the transcendental Reality ig°nol 
away from but within the phenomena paved the way for 

the belief that perfection or nirvana 
Ninaga U is not to bc . 80Ug h t rtWav f r0Jn ttle 
Ihe world *ud not ,, , . .... ° ., ., - . 

aw»j from it. world but w.lbm it. Nirvana, bays 

Na»arjuna, is to be found within the 
world by those who can see what the world really is at 
bottom. 2 Ascetieism of the Hinayfma is, therefore, re- 
placed b\ a loving, enlightened interest in the world's 

(b) Buddha as dud : The philosophy which gives 
the advanced followers of Mabfi- 

Buddh.coinM to be r m on the ont , » )an(1 ihe j deui f 

conceived as God. J 

Bodhisattva, supplies the backward 

ones, on the other hand, with a religion of promise and 

hope. When an ordinary man finds himself crushed 

in life's struggle and fails, in spite of all his natural 

egoism, to avert misery, his weary spirit craves for 

• Vide Sogen, System-, i>p. iJ3-4t. 

1 Yule Nagarjuns's wring "o» aaiiitarasva uirvanat kiik-idasti 
vi«c»s«»tu,"«tc, Midhyamika-iMra, Chap. 25, Karika 1». 

182 An Introduction to Indian ffliLosoMr 

some unfailing source of mercy and help. He turns to 
God. A religion of self-help, such as we bave in early 
Buddhism, i.s a cold comfort to him. To such forlorn 
multitudes Mahayiina holds out the hope that Buddha's 
watchful eyes are on all miserable beings. 

Buddha is identified with the transcendental 

Buddha is identi6ed RellIit y that Mabayana philosophy 
with transcendental accepted. The historical Buddha 

Reality and is attri- 
buted the power of or Gautama is believed, in the 

i oarna o . common Indian way, to be the 

incarnation of that ultimate Reality or Buddha. Many 
other previous incarnations of Buddha are also 
believed in and described in the famous Jatakas >or 
stories of the different births of Buddha). As in 
Advaita Vedanta, so also bore, the ultimate Reality in 
itself is conceived as beyond all description (like the 
Nirguna Brahma). But this reality is also thought of 
as manifesting itself in this world, as the Dharmakaya 
or the regulator of the universe. In this aspect of 
Dharmakaya the ultimate Reality or Buddha is anxious 
for the salvation of all beings, lends himself to 
incarnation in the different spiritual teachers and 
helps all beings out of misery. So, 

Buddha incarnated 

as teachers and helpers Buddha as the Dharmakaya, for all 
In88 ' practical purposes, takes the place 

of God to whom the weary heart can pray for help, 
love and mercy. In this aspect Buddha is also called 
Amitiibba Buddha. Thus the religious hankerings of 
those who accepted Buddhism arc also satisfied by the 
Mahayiina by identifying Buddha with God. 

(c) The Restoration oj the Self : One of the sources 
of the ordinary man's dread of earlier Buddhism must 


have been the negation of self. If there is no self, for 
_. . . .. .. , whom is one to work ? Mahayana 

Though individual J 

•elves are unreal, philosophy points out that it is the 
there is one universal . . . 

seff, i.e. the Reality little individual ego which is false. 

SM h ,i srKi But «»« *pp arent * w ba8 ■>*** 

Self of all beings. ,t the reality of one transcendental 

self (Mahatman), which is the Self of all beings The 

devout Mahiiyanist thus finds his self restored in a 

more elevating and magnified form. 

At the present day the followers of Hinayiina and 

Mahayana often try to belittle ono another. But to 

the discerning outsider they stand as tin* living 

examples of a fight between two equally noble motives. 

namely, groat er purity nnd greater utility. To impartial 

„. „. . . observers the mighty current of 

The Hinay&na and e ' 

the Mahayana are Buddliism, like every current, 

inspired by two differ- 
ent, but equally noble, naturally divides itself into two 
motives. . , , , ' , . 

parts — the narrow but pure and im- 
petuous stream, that runs through the solitary uplands 
near the source, and the gradually widening river that 
floods and fertilises the vast plains below, though not 
unmingled with the indifferent streams that increase 
its volume on the way and not unsoiled with the vast 
amount of din that it carries down. The first without 
the second would remain sublime but relatively useie'ss; 
the second without the first would cease to be. 


34— 1606B 


Jivananda Vidyasagara 


A, N. Jere 




Brajendranath Seal 

Ganganath J ha 
S, Radhakrishnan 

N yaya-daria na with V&t- 
Byayana's Bhasya and 
Visvanatha's V r t t i 

Tarkasangraha with 
Tattvadipikd aud Vivrti 

Tarkabhdsd (Original 
text. Eng. trans., Ori- 
ental Book Supplying 
Agency, Poona). 

KarikavaH (or Bhasdparic- 
cheda) with Siddhdnta- 
muktdvaH, Dinakari 
and Rdmarudri 
(Nirnaya Sagar Press. 

Sarva-d art an a-sangraha 
(Original text. Eng. 
trans, by Cowell and 
Gouj>h)fCh. XI. 

Nydya-kustimdnjali (Ori- 
ginal text, Chowkham- 
ba. Eng. trans, by 

Vedunla-paribhasa , Chaps. 

The Positive Sciences of 
the Ancient Hindus 
(Longmans), Ch. VII. 

Nydya-sutras with Bhasya 
and Vdrttika (Eng. 
trans., Indian Thought, 

Indian Philosophy, Vol, 
II, Ch. II, 



1. Introduction 

The Nyaya philosophy was founded by the great 

sage Gotama who was also known 
Qotama w»s the 
founder of tbe Nyaya as Gautama and Aksapada. Accord- 

* ,8ttm ' mgly, the Nyaya is also known as 

the Aksapada system. This philosophy is primar ily 
concerned with the conditions of correct thinkiur; and 
t he means of acquiring a true knowledge of r eality. 
It is very useful in developing the powers of logical 
thinking and rigorous criticism in its students. So 
we have such other names for the Nyaya philosophy 
as Nyiiyavidyii, Tarkasastra (i.e. the science of reason- 
ing), and Anvikmki (i.e. the science of critical study). 

But the logical problem as to the methods and con- 
ditions of true knowledge or the canons of logical 
criticism is not the sole or tbe 
firtS^Ai' »»timate end of tbe Nyaya philo- 
iu m»in interest' ii gophy. Its ultimate end, like 

IQ logic. r J 

that of the other systems of Indian 
philosophy, is liberation, which means the absolute 
cessation of all pain and suffering. It is only in order 
to attain this ultimate end of life that we require a 
philosophy for the knowledge of reality, and a logic 
for determining the conditions and methods of true 
knowledge. So we may say that the Nyaya. like 
other Indian systems, i» a philosophy of life, although 


it is mainiy interested in the problems of logic and 

The first work of the Nyaya philosophy is the 

Nydyasutra of Gotama. It is 

Historical sketch of divided into five adhyayas or books, 
the system. J J 

each containing two abnikas or 

sections. The subsequent works of the Nyiiya system , 
such as Vatsayana's Nyaya-bhasya, Uddyotakara's 
Nyaya-vdrttika, Vaeaspati's Nyaya-vdrttika-tdtparya- 
tika, Udayana's Nydya-vdrttika-tdtparyapari4uddhi 
and Kusumdtljali, Jayanta's Nydyamanjari, etc., 
explain and develop tbe ideas contained in the Nydya- 
sutra, and also defend them against the attacks of 
hostile critics. The ancient school of the Nyaya 
(pracina-nyaya) is thus a development of the sutra- 
philosophy of Gotama through a process of attack, 
counter-attack and defence among the Naiyayikas and 
their hard critics. The modern school of the Nyaya 
(navya-nyaya) begins with the epoch-making work of 
Gangesa, viz. the Tattvacintdmani. This school 
flourished at first in Mithila, but subsequently became 
the glory of Bengal with Navadvipa as tbe main centre 
of its learning and teaching. The modern school 
lays almost exclusive emphasis on the logical aspects 
of the Nyaya, and develops its theory of knowledge 
into a formal logic of relations between concepts, 
terms and propositions. With the advent of the 
modern Nyaya, the ancient school lost some of its 
popularity. The syncretist school of the Nyaya is a 
later development of the Nyaya philosophy into the 
form of a synthesis or an amalgamation between the 
Nyaya and the Vaisesika system. 


The whole" of the Nyaya philosophy may be con- 

_, , ., veniently divided into four parts, 

The sixteen pluloso- J r 

phic»i topics of the namely, the theory of knowledge, 
the theory of the physical world, 
the theory of the individual self and its liberation, and 
the theory of God. It should, however, be observed 
here that the Nyaya Bystem is in itself an elaboration 
of sixteen philosophical topicB (padartha). 1 These are : 
pramana, prameya, saihsaya, prayojana, drstanta, 
siddhanta, avayava, tarka, nirnaya, vada, jalpa, 
vitanda, hetvabhusa, chala, jati and nigrahasthana. 
These may be briefly explained here. 

Pramana is the way of knowing anything truly. Ii 
gives us true knowledge and nothing but true 
knowledge. It thus includes all the sources or methods 
of knowledge. Of the philosophical topics, pramana is 
the moat important and so it will be treated more fully 
in the next section. . 

Prameya literally means a knowable or an object of 
true knowledge, i.e. reality. The objects of such 
knowledge, according 10 the Nyaya, arc (I) the self 
(at ma); (2) the body (sarfra^ which is the seat of organic 
activities, the senses and the feu'ings of pleasure and 
pain; (il) the senses (indriya) of smell, taste, bight, 
touch and hearing; (1) their objects (artha), i.e. the 
sensible qualities ot smell, taste, colour, touch and 
sound; (5) cognition (buddbi) which is the same thing 
as knowledge (jfiana) and apprehension (upalabdhi); (6) 
mind (manas) which is the internal sense concerned in 
the internal perceptions of pleasure, pain, etc., and 

NydyatUUa »od Bhityo. M.M.!l.«. 


limits our cognition to one at a time, the* mind being 
like an atom and one in each body; (7) activity 
(pravrtti) wbich may be good or bad, and is of three 
kinds, namely, vocal, mental and bodily; '8) mental 
defects (dosa) Buch as attaobment (raga), hatred 
(dvesa) ajid infatuation (moba) which are at the root 
of our activities, good or bad; (9) rebirth after death 
(pretyabhava) which is brought about by our good or 
bad actions; (10) the experiences of pleasure and pain 
(phala) which result from the activities due to mental 
(defects); (11) suffering (duhkha) which as a bitter and 
painful experience is known to everybody; (12) libera- 
tion or freedom from suffering (apavarga) which means 
the absolute cessation of all suffering without any 
possibility of its recurrence. 1 This list of twelve is not 
an exhaustive list of all realities. This mentions, as 
Vatsyayana points out, 1 only those the knowledge of 
which is 'important for liberation. 

Samsaya or doubt is a state of uncertainty. It 
represents the mind's wavering between'different con- 
flicting views with regard to the same object. Doubt 
arises when with regard to the same thing there is the 
suggestion of different alternative views but no definite 
cognition of any differentia to decide between them. 
One is said to be in doubt when, looking at a distant 
figure, one is led to ask; ' Is it a statue or a pillar' ? but 
fails to discern any specific mark that would definitely 
decide which of them it really is. Doubt is not certain 
knowledge, nor is it the mere absence of know- 
ledge, nor is it an error. It is a positive state of 

1 Nyayas&tra and Bh&fya, 1.1. 9J2. 
* Ibid.,1. I. 9. 


cognition of mutually exclusive characters in the same 
thing at the same time. 1 

Prayojana or an end-in-view is the object for which 
or to avoid which one acts. We act cither to obtain 
desirable objects or to get rid of undesirable ones. Both 
these kinds of objects constitute the end of ouc. activi- 
ties and are, therefore, included within prayojana. 

Drstaota or an example is an undisputed fact which 
illustrates a general rule. It is a very useful and 
necessary part of any discussion or reasoning, and it 
should be such that both the partie.; in the discussion 
may accept it without dispute or difference of opinion. 
Thus when any one argues that there must bn fire in a 
certain place because there is smoke in it. the kitchen 
may be cited as an instance (drstanta), for in the 
case of a kitchen we are all agreed that some smoke 
is related to some fire. 

Siddhanta or a doctrine is what is taught and 
accepted as true in a system or school. A view that 
a certain thing' is or is such-and-such, if accepted as 
true in a system, will be a doctrine of that system, 
e.g. the Nyaya doctrine that the soui is a substance of 
which consciousness is a separable attribute. 

Avayava or a member of the syllogism is any of the 
five propositions in which syllogistic inference requires 
to be stated if it is to prove or demonstrate a doctrine. 
It may be one of the premises or the conclusion of the 
syllogism, but never any proposition that is not a part 
of any syllogism. The uvayuvas or constituent propo- 
sitions of the syllogism will be more fully explained 
under Inference. 

» i«e. «*., 1. 1. 98. 


Tarka or a hypothetical argument 'is an indirect 
way of justifying a certain conclusion by exposing the 
absurdity of its contradictory. It is a form of supposi- 
tion (uha), but is an aid to the attainment of valid 
knowledge. It will be explained more fully later on. 

Nirnaya is certain knowledge about anything, 
attained by means of any of the legitimate methods of 
knowledge. It is usually preceded by doubt and 
requires a consideration of all the arguments for and 
against a certain view or doctrine. But it is not 
always conditioned by doubt in the mind of the 
inquirer who ascertains the truth about something. So 
we may say that nirnaya is just the ascertainment of 
truth about something hy means of any of the recog- 
nized methods or sources of knowledge. 

Vada is a discussion which is conducted according 
to logical rules and aims only at finding out the truth 
of the matter discussed. Tn it each of the parties, the 
exponent (vadi) and the opfjouent (prativudi), tries to 
establish his own position and refute that of the other, 
but both try to arrive at truth. This is very well 
illustrated by a philosophical discussion between the 
teacher and his student provided both of them are 
honeet seekers after truth. 

Jalpa is mere wrangling in which the parties aim 
only at victory over each other, but do not make an 
honest attempt to come to truth. It has all other 
characteristics of a discussion than that of aiming at 
truth. Here the parties aim at victory only and, there- 
fore, make use of invalid reasons and arguments with 
the full consciousness that they are such. Lawyers 
sometimes indulge in this kind of wrangling. 


Vitanda is a kind of debate in which the opponent 

doo8 not establish his own position but only tries to 

refute that of the exponent. While in jalpa each of the 

parties somehow establishes his own position and tries 

to gain victory over the other by refuting the other 

position, in vitanda one of the parties tries to win 

simply by refuting the other's position. Otherwise, the 

two are the same. So vitanda may be said to be a 

sort of cavii in which the opponent indulges in a merely 

rteitruetive criticism of the opponent's views. It is 

something like abusing the plaintiff's pleader when one 

ha? no case. 

Hetvabhasa literally means a hetu or reason which 
appears as, but really is not, a valid reason. It is 

generally taken to mean the fallacies of inference. We 

shall consider them separately in connection with the 

theory of inference. 

Chaia is a kind of quibble in which an attempt is 
made to contradict a statement by taking it in a sense 
other than the intended one. It is a questionable 
device for getting out of a difficulty in an argument. 
Thus when an opponent cannot meet the exponent's 
argument fairly and squarely he may take it in a 
sense not intended by the latter and point out that it is 
fallacious. One man says ' the boy is nacfl-kauubala ' 
f possessed of a new blanket), and another unfairly 
objects " he is not naoa-kiimbala ' (possessed of nine 
blankets); here tbe latter is using 'chala.' 1 

The word jati is here used in a technical sense to 
mean an evaaiva and shifty answer to an argument. It 

' Tbe Sanskrit word, nava. means 'new,' and also ' nine '; and 
1 katubala ' means ' blanket ' 

86— 16MB 


consists in basing a futile argument on any kind of 
similarity or dissimilarity between two things to 
controvert another sound argument. Thus if one 
argues 'sound is non-eternal, because it is an effect like 
the pot,' and another objects that ' sound must be 
eternal* because it is incorporeal like the sky ', then the 
objection is a kind of jati or futile argument, for there 
is no necessary or universal relation between the incor- 
poreal and the eternal, as we find in the (-use of many 
objects like pleasure and paiu. 

Nigrahasthlina literally means a ground of defeat in 
debate. There are two primary grounds of such 
defeat, namely, misunderstanding or wrong understand- 
ing and waul of understanding. If any party in a 
debate misunderstands or fails to understand his own 
or the other party's statement and its implication, he 
is brought to the point at which he lias to admit 
defeat. Thus one is defeated in a debate when one 
shifts the original proposition or one's ground in the 
argument, or uses fallacious arguments and the like. 
TheNyaya philosophy is a system of logical realism. 
In philosophy realism means the 
system of logical tea- theory or doctrine that the existence 
lwn ' of thingB or objects of the world is 

independent of all knowledge or relation to mind. The 
existence of ideas and images, feelings of pleasure and 
pain, is dependent on 6ome mind. These cannot exist 
unlesB they are experienced by some mind. But the 
existence of tables and chairs, plants and animals, 
does not depend on our minds. These exist and will 
continue to exist, whether we know them or not. 
Realism i? a philosophical theory which holds that the 


existence of all things or objects of the world is quite 
independent of all minds, finite or 

on the other hand, holds that 
things or objects can exist only as they are related to 
some mind. Just as feelings and cognitions eri6t only 
as they are in some mind, bo the objects of the ' world 
exist only as they are actually experienced or at least 
thought of by ub or by God. Now the Nyaya is a 
realistic- philosophy in so far as it holds that the objects 
of the world have an independent exifience of their 
own apart from all knowledge or experience. In the 
Nyaya this realistic view of the world is based, not on 
mere faith or feeling, intuition or scriptural testimony, 
but on logical grounds and critical reflections. 
According to it, the highest end of life, i.e. liberation, 
can be attained only through a right knowledge of 
reality. But a true knowledge of reality presupposes 
an understanding of what knowledge is, what the 
sources of knowledge are, how true knowledge is dis- 
tinguished from wrong knowledge and so forth. In 
other words, a theory of reality or metaphysics pre- 
supposes a theory of knowledge or epistemology. 
Hence the realism of the Nyaya is based on the theory 
of knowledge which is the logical foundation of all 
philosophy. Thus we see that the Nyaya is a system 
of philosophy which may be justly characterized as 
logical realism. 

II. The Nyiya Theory of Knowledge 

The Nyaya theory of reality is based on the Nyaya 
theory of knowledge. According to this, there are four 


distinct and separate sources of brae knowledge. -These 
are (i) pratyaksa, perception ; (it) anumana, inference ; 
(mi) upamana, comparison ; and (iv) sabda, testimony. 
We shall explain them separately. But before we 
come to these pramanas or sources of valid 
knowledge, let us understand what knowledge is, 
what the different kinds of knowledge are, und 
how true knowledge is distinguished from false know- 

2 . Definition and Classification of Knowledge 1 

Knowledge or cognition (jSuna or buddhi) is the 
manifestation of objects. Just as 

Knowledge ii the , ,. , , , . 

manifestation of cb- the light of a lamp reveals or 
,ectB ' shows physical things, 60 knowledge 

manifests all objects tbat come before it. Knowledge i6 
of different kinds. First we have valid knowledge 
(prama. or pramiti), which has been 

There are two ' \ 

main kinds of know- subdivided into perception, inference, 

ledge, valid and con- . . ,. mi _ 

valid, each of ■which comparison and testimony. Ihen 
,Boffo rkinde. we have non . Ta j ]d knowledge 

(aprama), which includes memory (smrti), doubt 
(sarhgaya), error (blirama or viparyyaya) and hypotheti- 
cal argument (tarka) . True or valid knowledge is a 
Definition of valid definite or certain (aBandigdha) , and 
knowledge. a faithful or unerring (yathartha) 

presentation (anubhava) of the object. My visual 
perception of the table before me is a true cognition, 

1 Vide Tarkataiiqraha, pp. 82-35, 82 ; Tarkabhafi, q. 29 : T&lparya- 
0*4,1.1. If. 


because in it the table is presented to me directly just 

... . as it really is, and I am certain 
Different kind* of J 

non-valid knowledge :, about tbe truth of my cognition. 

memiiv, doobt, error/./,, . ,., , _, , 

and hypothetical wga-/ Memory is not valid knowledge, 
ment * because in it the remembered 

object iB not directly presented, since it is past, 
but only represented or recalled by the mind. 1 
Doubtful cognition cannot be called prama, because it 
is not certain knowledge. Error is undoubted know- 
ledge indeed, and may also be present ative, but it is 
not true to the nature of its object Sometimes we 
perceive a snake in a rope in tbe twilight and have 
then no doubt about tbe reality of wbat we see. Still 
this perception is erroneous, because it is not a Irue 
cognition of the object (yatharthanubhava). Tarka 
is not prama. since it does not give us any knowledge 
of objects. A tarka is like this : Ix>oking out of the 
window ot your class-room you see a mass of smoke 
rising from a distant house and saj that tbe house haB 
caught fire. A fiiend contradicts you and asserts that 
there is no firo. Now you argue : if there is no fire, 
there cannot bo smoke. This argument, starting with 
an 'if. and exposing the absurdity of your friend's 
position, and thereby indirectly proving your own, is 
tarka. Tt is not prama or valid knowledge, because to 
argue like this is not to know the fire, but to coofirm 
your previous inference of fire from smoke. That 
there is fire, you know by inference. To argue that 

1 Some MinjftiDsak»8 exclude memory tnm valid knowledge, on tbe 
ground that it does not give us any new knowledge. It is only a 
reproduction of tome past eiprrienrr and not a cognition of anything not 
known before 'anadhigata). 


if there ib no fire there cannot be smoke, is 
not to know the fire as a real fact either by way of 
perception or by that of inference. 

The next question is : How is true knowledge t 

distinguished from false knowledge? * 
hflftjutt Knowledge is true when it agrees. 
f»loe knowledge. with or corresponds to the nature of* 

its object, otherwise it becomes false. Your know- 
ledge of the rose as red is true if the rose has 
really a red colour as you judge it to bave (tadvati 
tatprakaraka). On the contrary, your perception, of 
the sun as moving ia wrong, since the motion belongs 
really to the earth and is wrongly transferred to the 
son which remains relatively motionless or stationary 
(tadabhavavati tatprakaraka). But then it may be 
asked : How do we know that the first knowledge 

is true and the second false? In 

The tMh «( truth othej . words H do <ef . t lh 

tnd error. 

truth or falsity of knowledge ? % _TJie 
Naiyayikas (also the Vaisesikas, Jainas and Bauddhas) 
explain it in the following manner : Suppose you want 
a little more sugar for your morning tea and take a 
spoonful of it from the cup before you and put it into 
your tea. Now the tea tastes sweeter than before and 
you know thai your previous perception of sugar was 
true. Sometimes, however, it happens that while look- 
ing for sugar, you find some white powdered substance 
and put a pinch of it into your mouth under the im- 
pression that it is sugar. But to your utler surprise and 
disappointment, you find that it is salt and not sugar. 
Here then we see that the truth and falsity of know* j 
ledge consist respectively in its correspondence and\ 

the nyiya philosophy 199 

,. non-correspondence to facts. On the other hand, tbe 
test of the truth or falsity of knowledge is the success 
or failure of our practical activities in relation to 
its object (pravrttisamarthya or pravrtlivisamvada). • 
True knowledge leads to successful practical acti- 
vity, while false knowledge ends in failure and 
disappointment. 1 

2. Perception 

In Western logic the problem of perception as a 
source of knowledge has not been properly discussed. 
The reason probably is this. We generally believe that 
what is given in perception must be true. Ordinarily, 
no man questions the truth of what he perceives by his 
senses. So it is thought that it i9 unnecessary, if 
not ridiculous, to examine the validity of perception, or 
to determine the conditions of perception as a source of 
valid knowledge. Indian thinkers are more critical 
than dogmatic in this respect, and make a thorough 
examination of perception in almost the same way as 
Western logicians discusss the problem of inference. 

(») Definition of Perception 

In logic perception is to be regarded as form of 
true cognition. Taking it in this 

n X& i8 «^mto «* 6 e, some Naiyayikas define per- . 

ot object* produced by ception as a definite cognition which 
MDte-object contact. r 

is produced by sense-object contact 

and is true or unerring.* The perception of the table 

1 For a detailed account ot tbe nature and forms of knowledge, and 
tbe teata of truth and error, vidt S. C. Chatterjee, Tke Nyiya Theory 
of Rnowl$dQ», Chap*. IT, V. 

* Nyaya-rttw, 1. 1. 4. 


before me is due to the contact of my'eyes with the 
table, and I am definite that the object is a table. The 
perception of a distant figure as either a man or a post 
is a doubtful and indefinite cognition, and, therefore, 
not a true perception. The perception of a snake in a 
piece of,rope is definite but false; and so it is different 
from valid perception. 

The definition of perception as a cognition due to the 
stimulation of our sense organs by tbe 
Another definition of perceived object is generally accepted 
perception is that itis f , T . .' P. j i u 

immediate cognition. .°y ua - It is accepted also by many 
systems of philosophy, Indian and 
Western. Some Naiyayikas, the Vedantins and others) 
however, reject it on the ground that there may be percep- 
tion without sense-object contact. God, we are told, 
perceives all things, but has no senses. When I see a 
snake in a rope, there is really no snake to come in contact 
with my eyes. Mental states like the feelings of pleasure 
and pain are directly cognised or perceived by us without 
the help of any sense organ. All this shows that sense- 
object contact ia not common to, and cannot, therefore, be 
a defining character of, perceptions. What, however, is| 
really common to, and distinctive of, all perceptions is a 
feeling of directness or immediacy of the knowledge given' 
by them. We are said to perceive an object, if and when 
we know it direct'y, i.e. without taking the help of previous 
experiences or any reasoning process (jnunakaranaka). If 
at midday you turn your eyes overhead, you see the sun 
directly, and not by means of any process of inference 
or reasoning. There is neither any necessity nor any time 
for you to think and reason before the perception of the 
sun arises in your mind. So some Indian logicians propose 
to define perception as immediate cognition (saks it prafclti), 
although they admit that perception is in almost all caseB 
conditioned by sense-object contact. 1 

1 Vide Tarlcabhifi, p. S ; SiddhintamuktivaU, pp. 235-38; Tattva 
cint&maiii, i, pp. 539-43, 552. 


(«) Classification of Perception 1 

There are different ways of classifying perception. 
First, we have the distinction be- 

JKyxSii?" tween taukika or ordiDar y and 

alaukika or extraordinary percep- 
tions. This distinction depends on the way in which 
the senses come in contact with their objects. We 
have laukika perception when there is the usual sense- 
contact with objects present to sense. In alaukika 
{M?rception , however, the object is such as is not ordi- 
narily present to sense, but is conveyed to sense 
through an unusual medium. Ordinary perception, 

again, is of two kinds, namely, «nd internal externa i (bahya) and internal 

(manasa). The former is due to 
the external senses of sight , hearing, touch, taste and 
miioII. The latter is brought about by the .mind's 
contact with psychical stateB and processes. Thus we 
Line six kinds of laukika or ordinary perceptions, viz. 
the vihual (ciiksusa). auditory (srautra), tactual (spar- 
sana), gustatory (rasana), olfactory (ghranaja), and the 
internal or mental (manasa) perception. Alaukika or 
extraordinary perception is of three kinds, viz. samanya- 
laksana, jnana-laksana and yogaja. 

According to the Nyaya (also the Vaisesika, 

Mimaiiisa, and Jaina), there are six 

The fix orgftot of 

kuowledge, w*. the organs of knowledge. Of these five 
^dthtinirer, are external and one is internal. 
manM - The five externai senses are the 

organB of smell (ghrana), taste (rasana), sight (caksuh), 

I Vide BhSfipariceheda and It uhtivaK, 63. 
83- 1605 B 


touch (tvak)\ and hearing (srotra). These perceive 
respectively the physical qualities of smell, taste, 
colour, touch and sound. They are physical in nature 
and each of them is constituted by that very same 
physical element whose qualities are sensed by it. 
This seems to be suggested by the fact that in many 
cases we use the same name for both the sense organ 
and the physical quality sensed by it. It is probably 
based on the principle that only like can perceive like. 
Mind (manas) is the internal organ which perceives 
such qualities of the 6011I as desire (iccha) , aversion 
(dvesa), striving or willing (prayatua), pleasure 
(sukha), pain (duhkha) and cognition. It is not made 
of the material elements (bhutas) like the external 
senses. It is not limited to the knowledge of an\ 
particular class of things or qualities but functions aa 
a central co-ordinating organ in all kinds of knowledge. 
The Nyaya view of mind as an 'internal sense' 
(antarindriya) is accepted by the Vaisesikas, the 
Sankhyas, the MImamsakas and others. But some 
Vedantins criticise and reject the Nyaya view of rnind 
as an 'inner sense.' 

{Hi) Extraordinary Peerception 1 

Alaukihi or extraordinary perception is of three kind6. 

The first is caiied samanyaiaksana. 

There are three kinds When we say, "All men are mortal," 

ct extraordinary per- we know thaf> mor t a i ity j 8 true f ai | 

ceptioTjg. The first is __ .,,, . ,, ' . ... 

samanyaiaksana or the men - 1 his means that mortality is 

perception of classes, true, not of this or that man only, nor 

of all men who are. dead and gone, but 

of all men in the past, present and future. In other words, 

1 Of. eit., 63-65. For a fuller account, vide 8. C. Chatterjee. 
The NySya Theory of Knowledge, Ch. X. 


it means that mortality is true of the class of men. But 
the question is: How do we know the whole class of men? 
We cannot know it by ordinary perception, since all men 
cannot be physically present to our senses. Yet we must 
somehow know all men. The Naiyayika explains this 
knowledge of the class by extraordinary perception, in 
which the class men is presented through the class-essence 
or the universal "manhood." When I perceive % man 
as man, I do perceive the manhood in him; otherwise I 
cannot directly recognize him as man. Now this direct 
knowledge or perception of the universal manhood is the 
medium through which 1 perceive all men or the class of 
men. To perceive manhood is to perceive all men so far 
.'is they are possessed of the universal "manhood." In 
short, to perceive manhood is to perceive all men as the 
individuals in which the universal "manhood" inheres. 

/This perception of tlit class of nit-n, being due to the 
porcepl ion of the universal (siimanya), is called 3iimanya- 

'. laksuna perception and is marked off as extraordinary! 
(alaukika) on account of its obvious difference from ourl 
^ordinary perceptions. 

The second kind of extraordinary perception is called 
jflanalaksana. We often use such ex- 

lJ5rT°Sr li *eS D n". P resBions « s " ic0 looks l, - <J,d ■' , " the 
cation* M ccinp1 ' stone looks hard," "the grass looks 
soft," and so forth. " This means that 
the coldness of ice, the hardness of a stone, the softnebs 
of luxuriant grass are perceived by us with our eyes. But 
the question is : How can the eyes perceive touch 
qualities, like hardness and softness, which can ordinarily 
be sensed only by the sense of touch? Among Western 
psychologists, Wundt, Ward and Stout explain such per- 
ceptions by "complication,' 1 a process by which sensa- 
tions or perceptions of different senses become so closely 
associated as to become integral porta of a single percep- 
tion. Similarly, when on arcing something one says, 
''7 see a piece of fragrant sandalwood," one has a preception 
of its fragrance by menns of one's eyes. How can we 

1 Vide Stout, Manual of Psychology, j>. 102 ; VYusdt, Human and 
Animal Psychology, pp. 286-80; Ward, Article "Pivcholopy," Encyclo- 
paedia Brilannka. «>th ed., Vol XX, p. 67. Cf. Woodvrorth, Psychology 
(9th cd.i, p, 116, where the perception of tin* smell of roses shot in ft glass- 
case and seen through the glass is cited as an example of hallucination. 


explain thi6 visual perception of fragrance whkjh can be 
ordinarily sensed only by the sense of smell ? The 
Naiyfiyika nays that here our past olfactory experience o/ 
fragrance as closely associated with the visual appearance 
of sandalwood (since every time we smelt it we saw Hb 
colour, unless that was in a dark room) brings about the 
present visual perception of fragrance simultaneously with 
that (if its colour. This present perception of fragrance, 
being due to the past knowledge of fragrance (saurabha-\ 
jMna), bus been called jnanalaksona perception, which is' 
also extraordinary in the sense that it is brought about byi 
a sense organ which is not ordinarily capable of perceiving 
fragrance. The Naiyayikas also explain Illusion, e.g. of a 
snake in a rope, us a case of jQinalaksana perception. 

The third kind of extraordinary perception is citlied 
< yogaja. It is the intuitive perception 
The third is .vogaja of aI) bj e ets— past and future, hidden 
or lutmUve percept'on 1 . <• .. . ■ , , 

ofyoginB. and infinitesimal — by one who possess- 

es some supernatural power gene- 
rated in the mind by devout meditation (yoyubhySsa). In 
the case of those who have attuined spiritual perfection 
(yukta), such intuitive knowledge of all objects in constant 
and spontaneous. In the case of others who are on the 
way tcj perfection (yunjgnn), it requires the help of concen- 
tration as iui auxiliary condition. The reality of yognjn 
perception is generally accepted in Indian philosophy on 
the authority of the scriptures (sruti and the It ii- 
to be observed also that the Vediintins * severely criticize 
and reject the Nyaj'a theory of sfimanyalitksana and 
jnanalaksana perception, although they do not repudiai. 
the idea of yogiprntyaksa out of respect for the scriptural 
texts in its favour. 

ixv) Three Modes of Perception * 

According to another classification, ordinary perception 

is of two kinds, namely, nirvikalpak« 

mfcr JmL J„~* or the indeterminate and Mvikalpnka 
modes ol ordinary pur- ,, , , __ ,, «. 

eeption. or the determinate. Here the princi- 

ple of classification is the more or less 
developed character of perceptual knowledge. To the*" 1 

1 Vide Advoilatiddhi, pp. 837-48; Ved&ntaparibh&fi. Ob. 1. 

1 Vide Nyayobh&fya and TitpatyaKkS, 1.1.4 ; Tarkabhiii, p. 5 : 
NyiyalUdvati, p. 53. For a detailed account, vide 8. C, Ch«U«rjee, 
The NySya Theory of Knowledge, Ch. IX, 


two we muy add pratybbijna or recognition. Keeping in 
view the nature of perception, the Naiyayikus distinguish 
between three modes of ordinary perception. Extraordinary 
perception is always determinate, since it is definite and 
explicit knowledge. 

Nirvikaipaka or indeterminate perception is the cogni- 
tion of an object as just an existent 
The first is mrvi- thing without nn explicit recognition 
kalpaka, which is cog- and characterization oi it at this or 
nition of ihe mere tfaat kmd of tfajng Su p p0Be you ] ook 

without anj explicit ttt a » orange placed on the other side 
recognition and cha- of your table. Immediately after the 
rarterization of it. fi rs t glance, or after the first moment 

of contact between your eyes and the 
object, you apprehend nomcthing, its colour, shape, etc., 
along with a general character called* oraogeness. But at 
first sight, you do not think of it as yellow oi iound, or as 
an orange. There may be a simple perception of an 
object and its specific and generic qualities, without any 
judgment ot it as this or that kind of thing. Suppose on* 
the first day of your examination you enter the bath room 
engrossed in thinking about the possible questions and 
their answers. It is not unlikely that you may finish your 
bath without thinking of the water used by you. as water. 
Vet it cannot be said that \ou do not perceive the water: 
but for a wry real perception of H, your act of bathing 
cannot be explained. This perception of water and its 
characters, without any thought or judgment of it as 
water, «« liquid, as cold, etc., is the nirvikaipaka or 
indeterminate perception of it. 

Savikaipaka perception is the cognition of an object 

as possessed of some character. 

The atcund ia sati- Wbiie nirvikaipaka is the cognition of 

kalpaka, in which ihe the e ,j stent , e of a thing as such, savi- 

ptCXS .hV k-lp«k« «■» be said to be the recogni- 

tion of its nature. Thus when, look- 
ing ut the orange, I judge within myself " this is an 
orange," I do not only cognise the existence of the 
orange us such, but also explicitly recognize or mentally 
assert what existenoe it is. Here the existent fact, this, 
becomes the subject of a proposition and orangeness is 
related to it as a predicate. Thus we may eay that nirvi- 
kaipaka is n simple apprehension ; and savikalpaka a predi- 
cative judgment, of the same object. There cannot be any 
Bavikalpaka perception of an object without a previous 


nirvikalpaka perception of it. Unless we first know the 
existence of an object we cannot possibly know it ar this 
or that kind of object. Unless I first perceive water as 
something there in a pool, I cannot know it as water or as 
a substance which is qjalified by certain attributes. 

Pratyabhijfia is recognition in its literal meaning. It is 
a Je-cognition of some object, i.e. a 
cognition of it as that which was 
cognised before. In it we know that 
the thing which we now cognise is 
the same as that which was cognised 
before, as when one says: "This must 
be the same man who pushed mo down the tnrn-citr yester- 
day." It should be remarked here that the distinctions 
of nirvikalpaka perception, savikalpaka perception, and 
pratyabbijM have not* been recognized, or recognized in 
the same way, in all the systems of Indian philosophy. 
While the Vaisesika, the Sankhya and the Mimamsa 
system accept, on the whole, the Nyaya view as explained 
here, the Bauddha and the Advaita Vedanta system reject 
it and hold very different views. 

The third js pratva- 
bbijfia, which is the 
cognition of an object 
as what was cognised 

■3. Inference 
(j) Definition ol Inference 

A fter perception comes aminiana or inferenc e. 
Anuniana (aim — alter, inaiia— knowle dge) litera lly 
means a cognition _or kiiQ«dejt;e which follows som e 
other If iinwlo^g e. Take the follow- 
i ng illustrations i " The hill is 
fi ery, because. it smokes and wliat- 
ever_srnokps iafieryj'i - JJevadatfa 
is mortal, becau se he ia..ii_n ian, 
and all _ n iea , .are. ,_mor.taJ ; " In 
the firs t example.,, we pass from the perception oL . 
sm oke in jjif h'H *o 1^ kn owledge of the_exjelfiiiCft_o X- 
fire in it, on the ground of our previous knowledge of 
the iiwjvprg3J_ re^ff ti-f.T 1 , r' ft fTyft°n smoke and fire. In 

Inference is lie pro- 
cess of knowing some' 
thing, not by observa- 
tion, but through tht 
medium of a mark 
that is invariably re- 
lated to it. 


the seco nd example, we know the mortality of Deva- 
datta, which is not now perceived, from the presence 
of manhood in him. Thus we see thai inference is" a 
process of reasomng~m which we pass "from the appre- 
hension of some mark (liriga) to that of something 
else, by virtue of a relation of invariable concomitance 
(vyapti) between the two. As Dr. B. N. Seal pufs"il: 
" Anumana (inference) is the process of ascertaining, 
not by perception or direct obs ervation, but through 
the instrumentality or medium of a mark, that a tiling 
possesses a certain character." ' 

(ii) Tlie Constituents of Inference 2 

From the definition of inference it will appear 

that an inference mu st have as its 

Infermce lias thrci- " --' *■ — 

terms and at Uasi co nstituent.- tin ee terms and a^, 

three propositions. , , ' -' " ■ T T 

lea st ttirec -prt^p o siuo ns. In i f i - 
ferenc e we arrive a t tiie knowledge of some c haracter 
of a thing through the knowledge of some mark an d 

thai of its universal relation to t he infe rred character. 

"-, — ———————— 

Thus in the above inference of fire_we _know the un- 
perceived fire in ihe_hill__th iougli the jj erception of 
smoke injtjind the knowl edge of an i nvariable rej atu u 
between smoke and fire. Th ere is , fir st, the knowle dge 
or apprehension of smoke as a mark in the bill. 
SeconTnyT^tTiiere is a recoll ection of the relatio n of 
invatiable~concomitance between smoke and fire, as 
we have~lH)seRea r Ttin the past. Thirdly, we have 
the resulting knowledge of the existence of the 

1 The Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus, p. 260. 
» Vide Muktavali, GO 07. 


unpereeived fire in the hill. Now in this inference the 
... hill is the paksa (minor term) , 

Paksa is tbe minor _ £_»— fc 

term, sadhya the m»jor since it is the subject under con- 

term, and si'ttana the ., . ■ — , . , 

middle term of anu- sideration in the cojirjjjB^oF the 
mana or inference. inferential reasoning^ Fire is..the 
sadhya (major term), as that is something which we 
want to prove or es'ablish in relation to the hill by 
means of this inference. Smoke is the linga (middle 
term), as It is the mark or sign which indicates' ihe 
presence of fire.^XLisalso called the beta or sfidhana. 
i.e. tbe reason or groimd^Tfinference." Thus corre- 
sponding to tbe minor, major~"and middle terms of the 
syllogism ,^jnJerence,_.iirTndian logic, contains three 
terms, namely, paksa, sadhya and hetu. "The paksa 
is the subject with which we are concerned in any 
inference. Tbe sadhya is the object which we want 
to know in relation to the paksa, or the inferable 
character' of the paksa. The hetu is tbe reason for our 
relating the sadhya to the paksa. It is tbe ground of 
our knowledge of the sadhya as related to the paksa. 

In order of the events which take place when a 
, certain thinker is inferring, the 

The thr«Ms steps and , " 

propositions in an in- first step in inference is the ap- 
erence ' prehension of the hetu (smoke) in 

the paksa (hill), the second a recollection of the uni- 
versal relation between hetu and sadhya (smoke and 
fire), and the last is the cognition of tbe Badhya (fire) 
as related to the paksa (hill). But as a matter of 
formal statement or verbal expression, the first step in 
inference is tbe predication of the sadhya with regard 
to the paksa, e.g. " Tbe hill is fiery." The secojjd is 
the affirmation of the hetu as related to the paksa, 


e.g. "Because the hill is smoky." The third is the 
affirmation of the beta as invariably related to the 
sadhya, e.g. "Wherever there is smoke, there is fire, 
as in the kitchen. "/Thus in inference we must have 
at least three propositions, all of which are categorical 
and one must be affirmative and the others "may be 
affirmative or negative.' The first proposition corres- 
ponds to the conclusion of the syllogism, the second to 
the minor premise, and the third to the major premise. 
Thus inference, in Indian logic, may be eaid to be a 
syllogism consisting of three categorical propositions. 
But the order of the propositions ia reversed in Indian 
logic, in so far as it puts the conclusion of the syllogism 
first , and its usual major premise last, in the formal 
statement of an inference. 

Indian logicians are agreed that«so far as inference 
is svarthaorforjoneself , it requires 
W^K °o formal statement, way of a 
number of propositions. It .is onjy 
in ihe case of "inference which is parartha, i.e. meant 
to prove or demonstrate some truth, that we__require 
to state an inference in the form of a rigorous chain 
of argument without any gap. This is the logical 
form of an inference. We may say that in Indian 
logic inference corresponds roughly, in respect of its 
form,~to the categorical syllogism of WeBtern logic. 
But tbero~~are certain important differences between 
the Indian and Western forms of the syllogism. In 
WeBtern logic, the syllogism ia gentrally Btated in the 
form of three propositions, of which the first is the 
major premise, the second is the minor premise, and 
the last is the conclusion. According to the Naiyayikas, 
m— 16MB 


however, inference, as a conclusive proof, must 
be stated in the form of five propositions, called its 
avayavas or members. These are pratijfia, betu, 
udaharana, upanaya, and nigamana. 1 The five* 
membered syllogism may be thus illustrated : 

(1) Bam is mortal (pratijfia) ; 

(2) Because he is a man (betu) ; 

(3) All men are mortal, e.g. Socrates, Kant, Hegel 
(udaharana) ; 

(4) Bam also is a man (upanaya) ; 

(5) Therefore he is mortal (nigamana). 

The pratijfia isfthe first proposition, which asserts 
something. The hetu is the second proposition, which 
states the reason for this assertion. The udaharana 
is the universal proposition, showing the connection 
between the reason and the asserted fact, as supported 
by known instances. Upanaya is the application of 
the universal proposition to the present case. Niga- 
mana is the conclusion which follows from the prece- 
ding propositions.* 

{Hi) The Grounds of Inference 3 

Now we come to the consideration of vyapti or invari- 
able concomitance between the middle 
There are two condi- term and the major term; which is the 
tioos of an inference. logical ground of inference. In infer- 
ence our knowledge of the sadhyn 

i Vide Tarkabhifi, pp. 48-19. For a critical dieensgion of tbe logical 
form of inference, tide 8. C. Chatterjee, The tfyiya Theory of Know- 
ledge, pp. SB7-405. "**' 

• Tbe Mlmameskss and tbe Vedantins bold that tbe first three or 
the last three proposition suffice for inference. 

• Vide Tarahabhita, pp. 7 f . ; Torkatahgraha. pp. 44 f. ; Bh&it- 
pvicchtia and MukUvall, pp. 187.86 ; Satvadaraan, Cb. II ; PoribhM, 
Ch. n. 


(fire) as related to the paksa (hill) depends on the previous 
knowledge of the hetu (smoke) as related to the paksa on 
the one hand, and universally connected with the sad by a, 

[on the other. We infer that there is fire. in the mil, 
because we see that there is smoke in tfie bill anil know 
that smoke is always accompanied by fire"." "It" apjjeers, 

, therefore* that am inference has two conditions. The first 

is a cognition of the hetu or middle ierm (smoke) in the 

paksa or minor term (the hill). The second is the relation of 

invariable concomitance between tbe middle and the major 

term. That there is fire in tbe hill is a conclusion which 

we can justify only if we know that there is an invariable 

concomitance between the hill-smoke and fire. This 

relation of invariable concomitance belween the hetu and 

the B&dhya, or the middle term and the 

Vyapti i« the logical major term of inference is technically 

condivon of inference, called vyapti, and is regarded as tbe 

logical "gTSund of inference, since it 

guarantees the truth of the conclusion. So the questions 

we are to consider now, are : What is vyapti ? How is ' 

vyapti known by us? 

With regard to the first question, we have to say that 
vyapti literally means the state of 

There" are iwo kinds pervasion. It implies a Correlation 

of vyapti. between two facts, of which one is 

pervaded (vjapya), and the other 

pervades (vygpaka). A fact is said to pervade another 

when it always accompanies the other. A fact is said tobe 

pervaded by* ~ another when it is always the 

other. In this, s ense s mok e is perv aded by fire, sipce ij is 

always accompanied by nrsffcr ail ImoSy objects are fiery. 

But while afl smoky objects anrffery, all fiery objects" are 

<■ not tmokyTe'.g. the red-hot-iron ball. _A vygpti between 

terms of unequal erfteHBion, such as "smoke and fire, is 

called asamavyspti or viBomavylpti. It is a relation of 

non-equipollent' concomitance between two terms, from 

one of which w$ "may infer the other, but not vice vena. 

We may fnferflre"from smoke, but not smok e , from. Jit a., 

fAs.-dWmj^iBhe4 ^mthTsTft jjgptftetwteEwmmrof 

equal extension is called "samavygpti or equi pollent con- 

■ comitance. Bere the vyspti holds belwera Wo^eOTF" 

i which -ire co-extensive, bo that' we may infer eitjjer 

of them from the other, e.g. 'nameable' and 

knowable.' Whatever is nameable is knowible, and nice 


_, For any inference the minimum condition is some kind 
'■'of vpapti between the middle and the major term. This 
satisfies the fundamental law of syllogistic inferjgnxft that 
one of the premises tmret he universal. Now the vyapti 
between the middle and the major term means generally 
a relation of co-existence (sshacarya) between the two, e.g. 
"where ver there, ia smoke, there' is fire." Every JcaBe of 
co-existence, however, is not a case of vyapti , In jmanv 
instances fire may co- exist with smo ke. Still t here is no 
vyiptT or. universal relation between? fire and* sm oke, -■ 
since T heie may h e ui, e~~without smoke. The reasonls that 
in such casBH therejation_pf^co- existence i_s_dependent on 
) certain coliflllnons ( upldhi) other than the terms rela ted. 
Thus the pfeTence~of smoke in fire is condi tioned by" wet 
fuel (srdr ehdhanaj. Bo we are to say that vy a pti is t hat" 

,. „,. . '. '. jceJaiion of co-existence TSSIween the 

Vyapti is an invau- -j s-, , , , ■ — < z -t. , 

able and unconditional ? ld %I3int^rmjipji^Jermwh i ch 

relation of concomit- is "Independent of all conditio ns. 

ance between the It is an mvHrftfble and unconditional 

"rm!" * Dd m8i ° r relation oi " "eoficqnpanoe "(fiiyata 

anaupadfaika sarhbandliaT' between 

the middle .and the major term. ""* "* 

The secona r "quesTion'TB : How is vyapti know n? How 

' do we get a universar proposition like 

Different method* of "all smoky objects are fiery," or "nil 

ascertaining vyapti. men are mortal"? This is the problem 

of induction. ' For the Csrvakas, who 

are radical empiricists, there is no problem, beca u.se_JiFere 

is no inference as a source of true kn oaledffe. All the 

other eyst£njs_af_Ifidi an philosophy w h ich admit th e^ validity 

of inference try lo slove th iglpj roblem in some wayj>r other. 

The Bu dtlhistr-faa l e iKjB kn owledge 

The Buddhut metbed. of ujoiversal piopositiojiB on the 

principles of causality and essential 
identity, which they regard as a priori and necessary 
principles of human thought and action. If two things 
are related as cause and effect, we know that they are 
universally related, for there cannot be any effect without 
its cause. To determine the causal relation between 
them, the Buddhists adopt the method of paficakarani 
which is as follows : (a) neither the cause nor the effect 
is perceived, (b) the cause is perceived, (c) immediately, the 
effect is perceived, {d) the cause disappears, (c) imme- 
diately, the effect disappears. Similarly, if two things are 
essentially identical (i.e. poBsels'arcommon'esBenoe), they 


m ust be universally related. All men are animals, becau se 
anfm atify"bel 0pgs"T 6~the essence of both^ and men wilnOut 
ani malitv will not "be me n. K^.^* " 

The Vedantins hold that vvapti or the universal pro- 

posi tion is i rn' rpgiilt nt an induction 
'l'bc Vedantio'B b y simpl e ~c pu pl era J'.' o p • ^tlWerirecl 
method. from the ugfedtitrajic ted experience of 

agre ement i n presen ce" between tw o 
things. When we find' that two " fliTng s go together o r 
co-eiigt J _a^d~thHtrthere is no"" exc eption" To their relatio n 
(vyabhicuradarSine .tail jaidiStoa^rSanamj^jve may lake 
them as universally r elated . * — " 

The TfaTylyjkas agree with the Vedantins in holding that 
vyapti is established by_the uncontradi cted experienc e of 
the relationTbetween two t hings , and not on any a prion" 
principle like' 'causality _ or essentlar^en tltyT They, 
however, go further than the Vedantins and supplement 
uncontradicted' experience of the relation between two 
facts by tarka or indirect proof and by samanyalakeana 
_, ' perception. The Nyaya method of 

wBiiSa^"" "«>*«_« a^M»Uwaifia .nw be 

analysed i nto the - following Rtepa. 
First we observe that there is a relation .of . agreement 

in presence (anvaya) between two 
(a) anvaya things, or that in all cases in which 

one is present, the ofchetfllsftis .present, 

e.g. wherever there is smoke, there is fi re. Secondly, we 

see that there is Mnitnrmj^^mont in nhagppo (vyatireka) 

(h v..ti»k» b&ween them, e.<7.„ wherever there 

is no fire, there is no _ smoke. 
These two steps taken together, correspond verjjvell to 
.Mill's Joint Method of Agreement in presence and ins. 
absence. Thirdly, we do not observe any contrary instance 

( vabb' & & b m WD,cn one °* them is present 

V J 1C r 8™ •• without the other (vyabhicaragraha). 

From this we may conclude that there must be a natural 

relation of invariable concomitance between the two things. 

Still we cannot be sure if the relation in question is 

unconditional or free from upadhis, which a real vyapti 

must be. Hence the fourth step of the inductive method is 

elimination of upadhis or conditions on 

(d^ upadbiniriw. which the relation may be possibly 

dependent (upadhinirasa). I put on 

the switch and there iB light ; if I do not, there is no light. 

From this it anybody oonoludes that there is a vyapti or 


invariable relation between switching on and lighting the 
room, then he would commit the mistake of ignoring the 
upadhi or condition, viz. the electric current, in the presence 
of which alone there can be light. This upadhi. viz. electric 
current, must be present when there is light, but it may not 
be present v> herever there is switching on. So an upadbi is 
denned as a term which is oo-extenBive with the major , 
(sadbyasamavyapta) but not with the middle term of an i 
inference (avyaptaeadhana). Taking the stock example, 
when one infers the existence of smoke from fire, one relies 
on the conditional relation of fire to smoke, since fire is 
attended with smoke on the condition of its being fire from 
" wet fuel," ' It will be seen here that th e condition 
" wet fuel " is always related to the major term "smoky," 
but not so related to the middle term '^fire," as ther e are 
cases of_fi?e withouL^jpet fuel 7"" Hence to eliminate the 
suspected conditions of an invariable relation between ttfo 
things we must make repeated observation (bhuyodarsana) 
cf their agreement in presence and in absence under 
varying circumstances. If in the course of this process 
we see that there is no material circumstance which is 
present or absent just when the major term is present or 
absent, we are to understand that its concomitance with 
the middle term is unconditional. In this way we can 
exclude all the suspected conditions of a relation of invari- 
able concomitance between the middle and the major 
term and say that it is a relation of vyfipti or invariable 
and unconditional concomitance. 

But there is still room for a sceptical doubt about 
the vyapti or universal proposition thus arrived at. It 
may be urged by ti sceptic like Hume or the Carvftka 
that so far as our past and present experience is concerned, 
there is no exception to the uniform relation of concomi- 
tance between smoke and fire. But there is no knowing 
whether this relation holds good in distant regions, like the 
planets, or will hold good in the remote future. To end 
this sceptical doubt, the Naiyayikas try next to fortify 
le) tarka *^ e "Auction by tarka. The proposi- 

' tion "all smoky objects are fiery" 

1 The inference is like this : "Whatever is fiery is smoky, X is fiery, 
therefore X is smoky." Here the conclusion is contradicted by the red- 
hot iron ball, lightning, etc. The reason is that the relation of the 
middle '' fiery " to I he major " smoky " is conditional on its being fiery 
ram " wet fuel." 


may be indirectly proved by a terka like this: If this 
proposition is not true, then its contradictory, " some 
smoky objects are not fiery," must be true. Tbis means 
that there may be smoke without fire. But this supposi- 
tion is contradicted by the law of universal causation, fori 
to say that there may be smoke without fire is just to saj/ 
thai there may be an effect without a cause (since fire is 
the only known cause of smoke). If any one has the 
obstinacy to say that sometimes there may be effect? 
without causes, he must be silenced by reference to the 
practical contradictions (vyiighata) involved in his position. 
If there can be an effect without a cause, why seek for fire 
to smoke your cigar or to cook your food ? This process of 
indirect) proof in the Nyaya may be «aid to correspond 
roughly to the method of reductio ad absurdum in Western 

Although the Naiyuyikas take gre,at pains to establish 

vylpti or a universal proposition on 

(f) «aminyBlakB8n« tne groua i f t jj e observation of parti- 

peroeption. cuJar factg> ^ they f(je , th&t & 

generalisation from particulars as mere particulars cannot 
give us that certainty which we claim when we lay down 
u general proposition like " all men are mortal." The 
proposition " all crows are black " is not so certain as the 
proposition " all men are mortal." We find it less difficult 
to think of a crow which is not black, than to tfiink of a 
man who is not mortal. Just as a cuckoo may be black or 
grey and spotted, so crows may be black or durk, grey or 
brown. We cannot, however, seriously and honestly think 
of ourselves as immortal, and regu!ate our practical acti- 
vities accordingly. Why this difference >n the sense of 
security or certa : nty? The answer that naturally suggests 
itself, and that not unreasonably, is that while there is 
nothing in the nature of a crow to prevent it frcm being 
grey or brown, there seems to be something in the nature 
of man that makes him mortal. We say that all crows 
are black, not because they cannot be otherwise, but 
because they happen to be so, as far as we have seen. 
On the other hand, we say that all men are mortal because 
they are men, i.e. because they possess some essential 
nature, manhood, which is related to mortality. This 
becomes clear when we say that " A, B, G are mortal, 
not because they are A, B, C but because they are men." 
It follows from this that an inductive generalisation must 
be ultimately based on the knowledge of the essential 


nature of things, i.e. the class-essenoe or the universal in 
them. Hence it is that the Naiyayikas finally establish 
an induction by samanyalaksana perception. 1 They hold 
that a universal proposition like " all men are mortal," or 
" all smoky objects are fiery," must be due to the percep- 
tion of the universal "manhood" as related to "mortality," 
or that oi " smokeness " as related to " fireness." It is 
only when we perceive " manhood " as related to mortality 
that we can say that all men are mortal, for to perceive 
" manhood " is to perceive all men so far as they are 
manas-such, and not this or that man. /So we may say 
that the essence of induction is not an inference of the % 
form " some men are mortal, therefore all men are 
mortal." This is not a logically valid inference, because 
there is,an obvious illicit distribution of the subject term 
men. /On the other hand, induction is a process of general- 
isation from the particulars of experience through the 
knowledge of the class-essences or universals underlying , 
such particulars.* 

(ib) The Classification of Inference 

As we have eeen before, inference is, in Indian 
l ogic^ a combined deductive-inductive reasoning con- 
sis ting of at least three categorical propositions ] 3TIT" 
inferences are thus pure syllogisms of the categorical 
type which are at once formally valid and materially 
true. Hence we have not here a classification of 
inferences into deductive and inductive, immediate and 
mediate, syllogistic and non-syllogistic, pure and mixed 
types. The Naiyayika6 give us three different classi- 
fications of inferences which we shall now consider. 

1 Vide Muhtivall p. 280; Tattvacint&matii, ii, pp. 168-64. 

1 Far a somewhat liniilai theory of induction the reader ma; bo 
referred to E. M. Eaton, General Logic, Part IV. Vide The Nyiya 
Theory of Knowledge, Chaps. X, XII, tot a /niter account. 


According to the first classification, inference is of 

two kinds, namely, svartha and 

,oJpw4rth», V£Si Parartha. This is a psychologica l 

as it i* meant for one- classification which has in view the 

self or for other*. - ■», ■ 

use or purpose which an inference 
serves. An inference may be intended either for the 
acquisition of some knowledge on our part or for the 
demonstration of a known truth toother persons. In 
tbe first case we have svarthanumana or inference for 
oiiggejf. In the second, we have pararlhanumana or 
inference meant for others. The first is illustrated by 
a man who first perceives a mass of s,make in the hill, 
then remembers that there is a universal relation 
between smoke and fire, and finally infers that there 
is fire in the hill. On the other hand, an inference i s 
p arartha when in making it a man aims at proving or 
d emonstrating the truth of the conclusion to othe r 
men . This is illustrated when a man, having . inferred 
or known the existence of fire in a hill, tries to convince 
another man who doubtB or questions the truth of his 
knowledge, and argues like this: "The hill must be 
fiery ; because it smokes ; and whatever is smoky is 
fiery, e.g. the kitchen - so also the hill is smoky ; 
therefore it is fiery." ' 

According lo another classification, we have three 
kinds of inferences, namely, purya- 

• It is pflrvavat or . _ , "• 

fesavat, according as vat, sesavat and saraanyatodrsta. 
tfeTVrf™. C n£ This classification has reference to 
c,U8e - the nature of thevyapti or universal; 

relation between the middle and major terms. While 

1 Vid» Tarkaiahgraha, pp. 46*49. 

1 Vid* Nyiya-iii. and Bhifj/a, 1.1.6. 

88— 16MB 


purvavat and aesarat inferences are based o n .caus al 
unif ormity, the last is based on non-causal uniformity. 
A cause is definedaa the invariable and unconditional 
-antecedent of on effect. Conversely, an effect is^ the 
invariable and unconditional consequent of a cause. 1 
Accordingly, a p urvava t inference is that in w hich we 
infer the unper ceived effect from a perceivqfl cause) . 
e.g. the infere nce of fu ture rain from the appearance of 
dark heavy clouds in the sky. A sesavat inference is 
that in which, we inter ine un perceived cause from a v 
perceived effect, e.g. the inference oi_past rain from 
the swif t mud o*y current of the-T-iver . In these two 
kinds of inference, the vyapti or universal relation \ 
between the middle and the major term is a~~Qbjforpi 
relation of causality between them. ' They are thus 
dependent on what is known as "scientific induction." 
In s amanyatodrsta inference, however, the vyaptL_pr 
u niversal relation between the middle and the m ajor 
term does not depend on a causal 

It » BftmaDjatodr^a « ■ ■ i -» 

when based on certain u niformity . T he middle term is 

observed points of , , , , ,, ... -- ' 

general similarity be- re lated to the major neither^ afiJ. 

tween objects of ex- caase nor as an effect w i f 

penence. ■ ■ — 

the one from the other, not because 
we know them to be causally connected, but because 
the y are uniformly related in our ex perience. This 
is illustrated when, on seeing the different positions 
of the moon at long intervals, we infer that it moves, 
although the motion might not have been perceived 
by us. In the case of other things whenever we per- 
ceive change of position, we perceive motion also. 

> Vidt Tarkabh&(6 p. 2; Tarktsahgraha and TaUva-Hpik&, 
pp. 35-86. 


From thiB we infer motion in the moon, although the 
movement of the planet is not perceived. Similarly, 
we may infer the cloven hoof of an unknown animal 
simply by Beeing its horns. These inferences depend 
not on a causal connection, but on certain observed 
points of general similarity between different objects of 
experience. B amanyato drsta inference is thus similar 
to analogical argument. 1 

A third classification gives us the three kinds of 

kevalanvayi, kevalavyatireki and 

Inference is called anvayavyatireki inferences.* This 

£*!?!* n I a y' * h J e 1 n classification is more logical, inasmuch 

Kh'i, Sis 86itis based on " the nature of th « 

positively related to induction by which we get the know ■ 
(be major term. ledge of vyapti, on which inferences 

depend. An inference is called 
keval anvayi when it is base d on ' a" Middle term which is 
always positiv ely related to the Mfljgf tern r — Hence Lite 
knowledge of vy&pti between the middle and the major 
• term is arrived at only through the method of agreement 
in presence (anvaya), since there is no negative* instance 
of their agreement in absence. This is illustrated by the 
following inference : 

All knowable objects are nameable ; 
The pot is a knowable object ; 
Therefore the pot is nameable. 

In this inferenoe the major premise iB a universal 
affirmative proposition in which the predicate "nameable" 
is affirmed of all knowable objects. It is not really possible 
for us to deny the predicate with regard to the subject 
and say that here is a knowable object which is not name- 
able, because we have at least to speak of it as "unname- 
able." The minor premise and the conclusion of this 

1 According to another interpretation, pflrvavat inference ia that 
which ia baaed on previous experience of the concomitance between two 
things and sesavat is pariaesa or inference by elimination, e.g. Bound is 
a quality, because it cannot be a substance or an activity or anything alaa. 

' Vide TarUiahfraho, pp. 61-62, Bh&flparicchtdo and MukUvaU, 
pp. 14848. 


inference are also universal affirmative propositions and 
cannot be otherwise. Hence, in its logical form, this 
inference is a syllogism of the first mood of the first figure, 
technically called Barbara. 

A kevalavyatireki inference is that in which the middle 

term is only negatively related to the 

It i« kevalavyatireki m «J or te »" m - It depends on a vyapti 

when the middle term between the absence of the major 

itoDly negatively re- term and that of the middle term. 

lated to the major. Accordingly, the knowledge of vyapti 

is here arrived at only through the 

method of agreement in absence (vyatireka), since there it, 

no positive instance of agreement in presence between the 

middle and the major term excepting the minor term. 

This is illustrated thus bv the Naivayikas : 

What is not different-from-other-elements has no 

smell ; 
The earth has smell ; 
Therefore the earth is different-from-other-elements. 1 

In this inference the major premise is n universal 
negative proposition in which the predicate or the middle 
term "smell" is denied of the subject or the negative of 
the major term "what is not different-from-other-elements.'* 
It is not possible for us to affirm the predicate "smell" 
of any other subject excepfing the earth which is the minor 
term of the inference. Hence the only way in which we 
can relate the middle to the major is ihe negative way of 
saying that "what is not different from the other elements 
haB no smell." Hence the major premise is a universal 
negative proposition arrived at only through the method 
of agreement in absence between the major and the middle 
term. The minor premise is an affirmative proposition. But 
although one of the premises is negative, the conclusion is 
affirmative, which is against the general canons of the 
syllogism in Formal I ogio. Hence we are to say that this 
inference is not any of the valid moods of syllogism recog- 
nized by Formal Logic, nor should we forcibly convert the 
conclusion into a negative proposition. But the validity 

1 Another example of sooh inference wonld be : The »dd is different 
from other planets, since it is stationary, and what is pot different from 
the other planets is not stationary, 


of such an inference has been admitted by Bradley as a 
special case of negative reasoning. * 

An inference is called anvayavyatireki wben its middle 

term is both positively and negatively 

It ii •Bv»y«vy»Hreld related to the major term. In it there 

isMfc^tlSiv'uS i8 a vyS P tj or "n^e^ 1 'elation 
nigatiwly related to between the middle and the major 
the major term. term in respect of both their presence 

and absence. So the knowledge of 
the vyfipti or the universal proposition is based on the Joint 
Method of agreement is presence (anvaya) and in absence 
(vyatireka). The universal proposition is affirmative -when 
it is the result of the observation of positive instances of 
agreement in presence, and negative wben based on the 
observation of negative instances of agreement in absence, 
between the middle and the major 'term. The differece 
between the universal affirmative and negative propositions 
(anvaya and vyatircka vynpti) is that the c ibject of the 
affirmative proposition becomes predicate and the ccntradi- 
tory of the predicate becomes subject in the corresponding 
negative proposition. Hence anvayavyatireki inference 
may be based on both universal affirmative and universal 
negative propositions. It is illustrated in the following pair 
of inferences : 

(1) All smoky objects are fiery ; 
The hill is smoky ; 
Therefore the bill is fiery. 

(2) No non-fiery object is smoky ; 
The hill is smoky ; 
Therefore the hill is fiery. 

(v) The Fallacies of Inference ' 

The fallacies of inference (hetvabhasa) in Indian 

,. . logic are all material fallacies. So 

Fallaciei in Indian , . , ... 

logic are ill material far as tbe logical form of inference 
* * cle '" is concerned, it is the same for all 

inferences. There is, strictly speaking, no fallacious 

1 Cf. Bradley, Principle* of Logic, Vol. I, pp. 974-83, 
* FftJa TorUtahgralc, pp. 6440. 


form of inference in logic, since all inferences must be 
put in one or other of the valid forms. Hence if there 
is any fallacy of inference, that must be du«j to (he 
material conditions on which the truth of the constituent 
premises depends. It may be observed here that in the 
Aristotelian classification of fallacies inlo those in 
dictione and those extra dictionem there is no mention 
of the formal fallacies of inference like the undistributed 
middle, the illicit process of the major or miior term, 
and so forth. The reason for this, as Eaton ' rightly 
points out, is that " to one trained in the arts of 
Byllogistic reasoning, they are not sufficiently persuasive 
to find a place even among sham arguments." As for 
Aristotle's fallacies in dictione, i.e. those that occur 
through the ambiguous use of words, they are all 
included by the Naiyiiyika among the fallacies of chala 
jati and nigrahasthtinamlh their numerous subdivisions. 
In Indian logic, a fallacy is technically called hetva- 
bhasa, a word which literally meanB a hetu or reason 
which appears as, but really is not, a valid reason. 
The fallacies of inference being ultimately due to such 
fallacious reasons, the Naiyayikas consider these only, 
and not such other fallacies as may infect the consti- 
tuent propositions of the syllogism. According to 
the Naiyayikas, there are five kinds 

There are fiyejeind* f f a ]] ac j eB . These are (1) Savya- 
of fallacies. 

bhicara.. (2) Viruddha. (3) Satprati- 

paksa, (4) Asiddha, (5) Badhita.* 

1 Central Logic, p, 384. 

* Vide The Nyaya Theory of Knowledge, Ch. XIV, for a detailed 
account of the fallacies. 


The first kind of fallacy is called savyabhicara or the 
irregular middle. To illustrate : 

The first is called AH bipeds are rational; 
8»vy»bhicira or the Swans are bipeds ; 
irregular middle. Therefore swans are rational. 

The conclusion of this inference is false. But why? 
Because the middle term ' biped ' is not uniformly related 
to the major ' rational. ' It is related to both rational and 
non-rational creatures. Such a middle term is called 
savyabhicara or the irregular middle. 

The savyabhicura hetu or the irregular middle is found 
to lead to no one single conclusion, but to different opposite 
conclusions. This fallacy occurs when the ostensible middle 
term violates the general rule of inference, namely, that it 
must be universally related to the major term, or that the 
major term must be present in all cases in which the 
middle is present. The savyabhicara middle, however, is not 
uniformly concomitant with the major term. It is relat- 
ed to both the existence and the non-existence of the major 
term, and is. therefore, also called anaikdntika or an incon- 
stant concomitant of the major term. Hence from such 
a middle term we can infer both the existence and the non- 
existence of the major term. To take another illustration : 

All knowable objects are fiery ; 
The hill is knowable ; 
Therefore the hill is fiery. 

Here the middle ' knowable ' is indifferently related 
to both fiery objects like the kitchen, and tireless objects 
like the lake. All knowables being thus not fiery, we 
cannot argue that a hill is fiery because it is knowable. 
Rather, it is as much true to say that, for the same reason, 
the hill is tireless. 

The Becond kind of fallacy is called viruddha or the 

contradictory middle. Take thiB in- 

The flecond i» Tirud- ference : "Air is heavy, because it is 

dha or the oonttadic- empty. In this inference the middle 

lory middle. term ' empty ' is contradictory because 

it disproves the heaviness of air. Thus 
the viruddha or the contradictory middle is one which dis- 
proves the very proposition which it is meant to prove. 
This happens when the ostensible middle term, instead of 


proving the existence of the major, in (he minor, which is 
intended by it, proves its non-existenoe therein. Thus to 
take the Naiyayikas' illustration, if one argues, " SouojLia 
eternal, because it is oausa4j"~w have a fallacy of the 
viruddha or oontradic.tor.y- middle. The "midaTe^ terra, 
' caused ' does not prove the eternality of sound, but its 
V non-oternality, because whatever is caused is non-eternal. 
The distinction between the savyabhicara and tha viruddha 
is that while the former only fail* to prove the conclusion, 
the latter disproves it or proves the contradictory proposi- 

The third kind of fallacy is called satpratipakea or the 
inferentially contradicted middle. 
The third is sat- This fallacy arises when the ostensible 
pratipakaa or the infer- m iddl e term of an inference is validly 
mWdle! ™ tttAlciei contradicted by some other middle 
• term which proves the non-existence 
of the major term of the first inference. Thus the inference 
" sound is eternal, because it is audible " is validly contra- 
dicted by another inference like this: "sound is non-eternal, 
became it is produced like a pot." Here the non-existence 
of eternalttj/ (which is the major term of the first inference) 
is proved by the second inference with its middle term 
' produced,' as against the first inference with its middle 
'audible.<' The distinction befcwen the viruddha and the 
satpratipaksa is that, while in the former the middle itself 
proves the contradictory of its conclusion, in the latter the 
contradictory of the conclusion of one middle term is 
proved by another middle term. 

The fourth kind of fallacy is called asiddba or sudhya- 
sama, i.e. the unproved middle. The 
The fourth » aaiddha sadhyasaiua middle is one which is not 
or the unproved mid- yet proved, but requires to be proved, 
die. like the sadhya or the major term. 

This means that the sadhyasama mid- 
dle is not a proved or an established fact, but an aaiddha or 
unproved assumption. The fallacy of the asiddba occurs 
when the middle term is wrongly assumed in any of the 
premises, and so cannot be taken to prove the truth of the 
conclusion. Thus when one argues, "the sky-lotuB is 
fragrant because it has lotutnest in it like a natural lotus, " , 
the middle has no locus standi, since the sky-lotus is non- 
existent, and is, therefore, aaiddha or a merely assumed but 
not proved fact. 


The last kind of fallacy is called badhita or the non- 
inferentially contradicted middle. It is 
Too fifth i» called the ostensible middle term of an in- 
b ^ ,h 'n*i»H th * "tr* ference, the non-existence of whose 
djctednliddte. ^ * major is ascertained by meuns of some 
— . .. other pramdna or source of knowledge. 

This is illustrated by the argument : ' 'Fire is cold, because 
it is a substance. " Here 'coldness' is the sadbya or 
major term, and 'substance' is the middle term. Now 
the non-existence of coldness, nay more, the existence 
of botness is perceived in fire by our sense of touch. So 
we are to reject the middle 'substance' as a contradicted 
middle. The fallacy of satpratipaksa, as explained before, 
is different from this fallacy of badhita, because in the 
former one inference is contradicted by n nother inference, 
while in the latter an inference is contradicted by 
perception or some other non-inferential source of 
knowledge. Another example cf badhita would be : Sugar 
ia sour, because it produces acidity. - 

4. Upamana or Comparison 

Upamana is the third source of valid knowledge 

accepted by the Nyaya. «It is the 

^y££g%E. "u«e of our knowledge of the 

through a given des- relation betweeu a name and things 
criptioo . ° 

so named or between a word and its 

denotation (sanjnasaEjnisaihbandha.). We have euch 

knowledge when we are told by some authoritative 

person that a word denotes a class of objects of a 

certain description and then, on the basis of the given 

description, apply the word to some object or objects 

which fit in with that description, although we might 

not have seen them before. For example, a man, who. 

does not know what a gavaya 1 or wild cow is, may be 

told by a forester that it is an animal like the cow. If 

1 In Mine parti t>t India, the ' gavaya ' is more commonly known as 
' nilgai.' 



subsequently he happens to meet with such an animal 
in the forest and knows or recognizes it as a' gavaya, 

i then his knowledge will be due to upamana or compari- 
son.* A boy, who does not know what a jackdaw is, 
may be told by you that it is like a crow, but of bigger 
size and glazy black colour. When next he sees a 
jackdaw and sayB, 'this must be a jackdaw,' we know 
that he has learnt the denotation of the word. To 
take another example from Dr. L. S. Stebbing,* 
suppose you do not know what "saxophone" means. 
You may be told by a musician : "A sax ophone if a 
musical instrument something like a U-shaped trum- 
pet." If, on subsequently seeing a saxophone, you are 
able to give its name, it will be clear that you under- 
stand what "saxophone" means. Now, upamana is 
jiiBt this way of knowing the denotation of words, or 
the relation between names and the objects denoted 
by them/ The grounds of our knowledge in upamana 
are a given description of the objects to be known and 
a perception of their similarity, etc. to the familiar 
objects mentioned in the description. A man recog- 
nizes a gavaya as such just when he perceives its simi- 

: larity to the cow and remembers the description, the 
gavaya is an animal resembling the cow."* 

That upamana or comparison, as explained by the 

Naiyayikas, is a distinct source of 

Other systems on the valid knowledge, has not been recog- 

ntture of upamana. nized in the other systems of Indian 

philosophy. The CarvSkas* contend 

1 Vide larhaiahgraha, pp. 62-63. 

2 Modern Introduction to Logic, p. 18. 

3 Vide NyHya-bhOtya, 1.1.6 ; NyHyamarljarl, pp. 141.43. 
« Vide Nytya tit. and Bhieya, 2.1.42. 


that upamana is not a pramana at all, since it cannot give 
us any true knowledge about the denotation of words as 
maintained by the Naiyayikas. The Buddhist logicians 
recognize upamana as a form of valid knowledge, but they 
reduce it to perception and testimony, so that we do not 
require a separate source oi knowledge like upamana. 1 
So also, the Vaifesika* and the Sankkya 3 system explain 
upamana as a form of inference, and therefore, neither a 
distinct type of knowledge nor an independent way of 
knowing. The Jain as* reduce upamana to pratyabhijM or 
recognition. While recognizing upamana as a separate 
source of knowledge, tbe Mimamsakas" and the Vedantins* 
explain it in a different way which will be considered under 
the Mimariisa. 7 

5. Sabda or Testimony 
(f) The Nature and Classification of Sabda 

Sabda is the last pramana accepted by the Nyaya. 

Literally sabda means verbal know-" 

Ssbda consists, in led^e. It is the knowledge of 

understanding the , . , , , . 3 _ 

meaning of the state- objects derived from words or sen- 

mentof a trustworthy tences. All verbal knowledge, 

person. ° 

however, is not valid. Hence 
sabda, as a pramana, ip defined in the Nyaya as valid 
verbal testimony. It consists in the assertion of a 
trustworthy person." A verbal statement is valid when 
it comes from a person who knows the truth and speaks 
the truth about anything for the guidance of other 

1 Vide Jiytyavirllika, 1.1.8. 

* Vide Tarliasahgtoha and DtyHtS, p. fi3. 
' Tattvahaumuif, 8. 

* Prameyakamalamdrtand". Ch. III. 

* StstradlpikZ, pp. 74-76. 

« Vedanta-PaTibhW, Ch. in. 

r Vide Tht Jiy6ya Theory of Knotcltdgt, Ch. XVI, for » critics: 
discussion of upamana ss a distinct source of knowledge. 

* Ny&yo-rit, 1.1.7 . 


perrons. 1 Bat it is a matter of common observation 
that a sentence or statement is not by itself sufficient 
; fo give us any knowledge of things. Nor again does 
the mere perception of the words of a sentence lead to 
any knowledge about objects. It is only when one 
perceives the words and understands their meanings 
that be acquires any knowledge from a verbal state- 
ment. Hence while the validity of verbal knowledge 
depends on its being based on the statement of a trust- 
worthy person, its possibility depends on the under- 
standing of the meaning of that statement. Hence 
'sabda or testimony, 'as a source of valid knowledge, 
consists in understanding the meaning of the statement 
of a trustworthy person. 3 

There are two ways of classifying sabda or verbal 

Tber. •* two w.ys knowledge. According to the one, 
of ' ciusifjing «abda, there are two kinds of sabda, 

which give us (a) 

dr?t*rth» »ndf adj-jt- namely, that relating to perceptible 
objects (drstarfha), and that relating 
to imperceptible objects (adrstartha). 3 Under the first 
heaC we are to include the trustworthy assertions of 
ordinary person?, the taints and the scriptures in so far 
as they bear on Ihe perceptible objects of the world, e.g. 
the evidence given by witnesses in law courts, the state- 
ments of a reliable farmer about plants, the scriptural 
injunctions to perform certain rites to bring about rain- 
fall, etc. The second will include all the trustworthy 
assertions of ordinary persons, saints,qpD3phetfi and the 
Bcriptures in so far as they beer on supersensible reali- 

1 TirkikataTtfa, pp. 94-85, 

1 Tar'katahgtaha , p. 78 : BhSfSpariecheda and U vkt&vo'i, fil. 

1 Nytyo'iM., and Bh6}j/a, 1.1.8. 


ties, e.g. the scientists' assertions about atoms, ether,, 
electrons, vitamin*, etc. the prophets' instructions 
about virtue and vice, the scriptural texts on God, 
freedom and immortality. 

According to another classification, there are two 

kindB of testimony, the scriptural 
dikl £bdl k * "' *"" Cva.iaika> and the secular (laukika). 1 

In vaidika testimony we have the 
words of God. Vaidika or scriptural testimony is thus 
perfect and infallible by its very nature. But laukika 
or secular testimony is not all valid. Tt is the testi- 
mony of human beings and may, therefore, be true or 
fahe. Of laukika testimony, only that whk h proceeds 
from trustworthy persons is valid, but not the rest. It 
wilthe observed here that the first classification of 
testimony (s'abda) has reference to •the nature of the 
objects of knowledge, the second to the nature of the 
source of knowledge. But the two classifications, given 
by different Naiyayikas, agree in implying that testi- 
mony must always be personal, i.e. based on the words 
of some trustworthy person, human or divine. Iff 
respect of their truth, however, there is no difference 
among the trustworthy statements of an ordinary 
person, a saint, a prophet, and the scriptures as 
revealed by God.' 

(it) The Logical Structure of a Sentence 

Sabda or testimony, we have seen, gives us knowledge 
about certain things through the understanding of the 

1 Tarkatahgraha, p. 78; Torltabhaja, p. 14. 
' For • critical diwussion of sabda u an independent toow* of 
knowledge, tide The Nfiya Theory of Knowledge, pp, 881-89. 


meaning of sentences, either spoken or written by some 
authoritative person. Hence the question is : What is 
a sentence and how does it beoome 
A sentence is a group intelligible ? A sentence, we are 
SffUr' 'old, is a group of words (pada) 

arranged in a certain way. A word, 
again, is a group of letters arranged in a fixed order. 1 The 
essential nature of a word lies in its meaning. A . word is 
that which has a fixed relation to some object, so as~~to 
recall it whenever it is heard or read, i.e. it means an 
object. So we may say that words ure significant symbols. 
This capacity of words to mean their respective objects is 
Galled their Sahti or potency, and it is Baid to be due to 
the will of God.* That a word has & fixed and an unalter- 
able relation to certain things only, or that this word 
always means this object and not others, is ultimately due 
to the Supreme Being who is the ground and reason of all 
the order and uniformity that we find in the world. 

A sentence (vakya) is a combination of words having a 

certain meaning. Any combination 

f T « ef ffr C °M itl0n8 ' o f words, however, does not make n 
of an intelligible sen- .„ ' , m. . A - 

tence . significant sentence. The construction 

of an intelligible sentence must con- 
form to four conditions. These are akanksa, yogyatfi, 
sannidhi and tatparya.* 

By akanksa or expectancy is meant that quality of the 

words of a sentence by which they 

<a) Ikafiksa or the expect or imply one another. Gene- 

:l n s S, of ne a ed IS r8 »y 8 P<* kin g. a ™ d c «nnot by itself 
for expressing a com- convey a complete meaning. It must 
piete sense. be brought into relation with other 

words in order to express a full judg- 
ment. When one hears the word 'bring,' he at once asks: 
'what?' The verb 'bring* has a need for some other words 
denoting some object or objects, e.g. 'the jar.' Akanksa is 
this mutual need that the words of a sentence have for 
one another in order to express a complete sense. 

1 Tarktuehgraha, pp. 68-64. 

» Ibid., p. 64. 

» Ibid., p. 79; BhOfllparieehedo, p. 89. 


The second condition of the combination of words in a 

sentence ip their yogyata or mutual 

(W Yogyat&orthe fitness. It consists in the absence of 

mutaal «rf the ^n^kt^ in the relation o{ object8 

denoted by a sentence. When the 
meaning of a sentence is not contradicted, there is yogyata 
or fitness between its constituent words. The sentence 
'moisten with fire' is faulty of unfitness, because there is 
a contradiction between 'fire' and 'moistening.' 

Sannidbi or asatti is the third condition of verbal 

knowledge. It consists in the juxta- 

r*iiiDH DD betwMa the P° sition or P roa:i ' w »<2/ between the 
wOTdTof \ Motenet. " different words of a sentence. If there 
is to be an ineligible sentence, then 
its constituent words must be continuous with one another 
in time or space. Spoken words cannot make a sentence 
when separated by long intervals of time. Similarly, 
written words cannot construct a sentence wht > they are 
separuted by long intervals of space. Thus the words 
'bring — a — cow' will not make a sentence when uttered on 
three days or written 011 three pages, even though they 
possess the first two marks of ukiinksu or expectancy and 
yogyata or fitness. 

Tatparya as a condition of verbal knowledge stands for 

the meaning intended to be conveyed 

(d) Tatpurya or the ^ )V & sen tence. A word may mean 

meaning lntroacd to ,'.~ . .1 ■ ■,•/» . 

be conveyed by a different things in different ciises. 

senteuee. Whether it means this or that thing 

in a particular case depends on the 
intention of the person who uses the word. To understand 
the meaning of a sentence, therefore, we must consider the 
intention of the writer or the speaker who uses it. Thus 
when a man is asked to bring a 'bat,' he is at a loss to 
understand whether he is told to bring a particular kind of 
animal or a wooden implement, for the word means both. 
This can be ascertained only if we know the intention of 
the speaker. Hence the understanding of a sentence 
depends on the understanding of its t atparya or intended 
meaning. In the case of ordinary sentences Used by 
human beings, we can ascertain their tatparya from the 
context (prakarana) in which they are used. For the 
understanding of the Vedic texts we are to take the help 
of the logical rules of interpretation systematized by the 


III. The NYiya Theory of the Physical World 1 

So far we have considered the Nyaya doctrine of 

. , , , pratnana or tbe methods of koow- 
Prameya u tbe world 

of objects of know- ledge. Now we come to the second 

topic of grameya or the objecte of 

knowledge. According to tbe Naiyayikas, the objects 

of knowledge are the self, the body, the senses and 

their objects, knowledge, mind (manas), pravrtti or 

activity, dosa or the mental imperfections, pretyabhava 

or rebirth, phala or the feelings of pleasure and pain, 

duhkha or suffering, apavarga or absolute freedom from 

all suffering. There are also such objects as dravya or 

substance, gnna or quality, karma or motion, samanya 

or the universal, visesa or particularity, samavaya or 

the relation of inherence, and abhava or non-existence. 

All of these pr'ameyas or knowables are not to be 

found in the physical world, be- 

iS'ifJf cause ifc incIudes on, y those ob J' ed8 

aud akaia constitute that are either physical (bhuta) or 

the physical world. 

somehow belong to the world of 
physical nature. Thus the self, its attribute of know- 
ledge, and manas ate not at all physical. Time and 
space are two substances which although different from 
the physical substances, yet somehow belong to the 
physical world. Akasa is a physical substance which 
is not a productive cause of anything. The physical 
world is constituted by the four physical substances of 
earth, water, fire and air. Tbe ultimate constituents 
of these four substances are the eternal and unchanging 

1 Vid* NyOya-sQt. and BhOfya 1. 1. 0-83. 


atoms of earth, water, fire and air. AJcasa or ether, 
kala or time, and dik or space are eternal and infinite 
substances, each being one single whole. Thus the 
physical world is the product of the tour kinds of atoms 
of earth, water, fire and air. It contains all the 
composite products of these atoms, and their qualities 
and relations, including organic bodies, the senses, and 
the sensible qualities of things. To it belong also the 
physical substance of akasa or ether, and the non- 
physical substances of kala or time and dik or space ' 
with all their various relations and app?-ent modifica- 
tions. The Nyaya theory of the physical world, in 
respect of these and other connected subjects, is the 
same as that of the Vaisesika. The Vaisesika theory, 
which is a more detailed account of the subject, is 
accepted by the Nyaya as samanatantra or an allied 
theory common to the Nyaya aud the Vaisesika 
system, rfo we propose to take up this subject when 
we come to the Yaisesika philosophy. 

IV. Tub Individual Self and its Libekatjon 

The Nyaya is a philosophy of life and seeks to guide 

individual selves in their search for 

of^l» ^T^torS'l- trutil aml ^edom. With regard to 

!d«4i«t^ ,iPiri0i8t 8 " d the ^ ' divid » a, self fjivatma) we 
have to consider first its nature and 
attributes. There are four main views of the self in 
Indian philosophy. According to the Carvakas, the self 
is the living body with the attribute of consciousness. 
This is the materialistic conception of the self. The 

30— 1606B 


Bauddhas reduce the self to a stream of thought or a 
series of cognitions. Like some empiricists and sensa- 
tionists, they admit only the empirical self. The 
Advaita Vedanfa takes the self as one, unchanging and 
self-shining intelligence (svaprakasA caitanya) which 
is neither a subject nor an object, neither the T nor 
the 'me.' The Vislstadvaita, Vedanta, however, holds 
that the self is not pure intelligence as such but an 
intelligent subject called the ego or the 'V (jnata 
ahamartha evatnca). Both these views of the self may 
be called idealistic in a broad sense. 

The Nya ya-Vaifesikas adopt the realistic view of 
the self. According to them, the 

The rfslistic view of . . 

ihe self in tbe Nyaya- self is a unique substance, to which 
V«We?ika vhcid. a il cognitions, feelings and cona- 

tions belong as its attributes. Desire, aversion and 
volition, pleasure, pain and cognition are all qualities 
of the soul. These cannot belong to the physical subs- 
tances, since they are not physical qualities perceived 
by the external senses. Hence we must admit that 
they are the peculiar properties of some substance other 
than and different from all physical substances. There 
are different selves in differeut bodies, because their 
experiences do not overlap but are kept distinct. Tbe 
self is indestructible and eternal. It is in Quite or 
ubiquitous (vibhu), since it is not limited by time and 

1 NyHya-bhSMu, 1. 1. 10; Padirthedhamaiaftgraha, pp. 30. f; 
Tarkabhifi, pp. 18-19. 


The body or the senses cannot be the self because 
consciousness can do t be the attri- 

frdthe 8 b£. ««. bulfl ° f lhe material W ' °* ** 
maoiis and the stream se nses. The body is, by itself, un- 
of consciousness. ■* * 

conscious and unintelligent. The 
senses cannot explain functions like imagination, 
memory, ideation, e'c, which are independent of the 
external senses, lhe manas too cannot take the place 
of the self. If the manas be, as the Nyaya-Vaisesikas 
hold, an atomic and, therefore, imperceptible substance, 
the qualities of pleasure, pain, etc., which should 
belong to the manas, must ba equafly imperceptible. 
But pleasure and pain are experienced or perceived 
by us. Nor can the self be identified with the series 
of cognitions as in Bauddha philosophy, for then 
memory becomes inexplicable. No member of a mere 
series of cognitions can, like a bead of the rosary, 
know what has preceded it or what will succeed it. 
The Advaita Vedantin's idea of the self as eternal salf- 
Bhining intelligence is no more acceptable to the Naiya- 
yika than that of the Buddhists. There is no such 
thing as pure intelligence unrelated to some subject 
and object. Intelligence cannot subsist without a 
certain locus. Hence the self is not intelligence as 
such, but a substance having intelligence as its attri- 
bute. The self is not mere consciousness or knowledge, 
but a knower, an ego or the ']' (abankarasraya), and 
also an eojo>er (bhokta; 1 . 

1 BhifOpanccheda acd Muklacait, 4N50 , A'yuya-i*l. and Bhifya, 
3.1. 4. S 

Although knowledge or consciousness belongs to the 

Consciousness » nnt' Self &S aD attribute > y et U ie DOt aU 

an essential attribute essential and inseparable attribute 
of the soul substance. 

of it. All cognition 6 or conscious 

Btates arise in the self when it is related to the manas, 
and the manas is related to the senses, and senses 
come in contact with the external objects. Otherwise, 
there will be no consciousness in the 6elf. In its dis- 
embodied condition, therefore, the self will have no 
knowledge or consciousness. Thus the attributes of 
cognition, feeling and conation — in a word, conscious- 
ness — is an accidental attribute of the self, the accident 
being its relation to the body.* 

How do we know that there is any self of the indivi- 

*,,,.„ dual, which is distinct from his body, 

Proofs for the exis- ,. ' , • m o "ii 

tence- of the self. * B1S sen8es and mind ? Some old 
Naiyayikas 2 seem to think that there 
cannot he a perception or direct cognition of the self. 
According to them, the self is known either from the 
testimony of spiritual authorities or by inference from the 
functions of desire, aversion and volition, the feelings of 
pleasure and pain, and the phenomenon of knowledge in 
us. That we have desire, aversion, etc., no body can 
doubt. But these cannot be explained unless we admit 
a permanent self. To desire an object is to strive lo 
obtain it as something pleasurable. But before we obtain 
it, we cannot get any pleasure out of it. So in desiring 
the object we oniy judge it to be similar to such objects 
as were found to be pleasurable in the past. This moans 
that desire supposes some permanent self which had ex- 
perienced pleasure in relation to certain objects in the 
past and which considers a present object to be similar to 
any of those past objects, and so strives to get possession 
of it. Similarly, aversion and volition cannot be explained 

1 Variiika, 2. 1, 22; Kyayamatijari, p. W2, 
* Vide Ky&ya-bhSfyo, 1. 1. 9-10 


without a permanent Bell. The feelings of pleasure or 
pain also arise in an individual when he gets something 
considered to be the means of attaining a remembered 
pleasure, or gets into something which had previously led 
to a painful experience. So too knowledge as a process 
of reflective thinking requires a permanent self which first 
desires to* know something, then reflects on it trad finally 
uttains certain knowledge about it. All these phenomena 
of desire, etc., cannot be explained either by the body or 
the senses or the mind as a series of cognitions or a stream 
of consciousness. Just as the experience of one man can- 
not be remembered by another man, so the body or the 
senses which are really series of different pbysiologjcal 
states and stages, and the mind or fcH empirical self, 
which is admittedly an aggregate of different momentary 
psychical states and processes, cannot explain the pheno- 
mena of desire, aversion and volition, pleasure, pain and 
cognition. 1 

The later Naiyiiyikas go a step further and maintain 

that the self is directly known through 
Direct experience of j nterna | or me ntal perception (ma- 
tne self m internal , , . t\* _u 

perception. nasapratyaksa). -Of course, when 

its existence is denied or doubted by 
anyone, the self must be inferred and proved jn the way 
explained above. The mental perception of the self may 
take either of two forms. Tt may be a perception in the 
form of pure self-consciousness, which is due to a contact 
between the mind and the pure self, and is expressed in 
the judgment 'I am.' According to some Naiyayikas, 
however, the pure self cannot be an object of perception. 
The self is perceived only through some such quality of it as 
cognition, feeling or willing, and so the perceptual judgment 
is in the form, 'I am knowing,' 'I am happy', and so forth. 
We do not perceive the self as such, but as knowing or feel- 
ing or doing something. Hence self-consciousness is a 
mental perception of the self as present in some mode of 
consciousness. While one's own self can be perceived, 
other selves in other bodies can only be inferred from their 
intelligent bodily actions, since these 'cannot be explained 
by the unintelligent body fand require a conscious self for 
their performance. 1 

1 Vide Bka#ya,1.1. 10. 

' Vtde TorkabhifS, p. <!; Tarkaltaumttdi, p. 8; Bhindpaticchcda 
and Mvktavali, 40-50. 


The end cf almost all the systems of Indian 

philosophy is the attainment of 

dom romTll pam wd mukti or liberation for the indivi- 
•uffsHng. dua ] 8elf Th | g ip e pp ec j a ny ( rue 

of the Nyaya system which proposes, at the Very out- 
set, (o give us a knowledge of reality or realities for 
the realization of the highest good or the sumtnum 
bonum of our life. The different Bystems, however, 
give us different descriptions of this consummate state 
of the eouI's existence. For the Naiyayikas it is a 
state of negation, complete and absolute, of all pain 
and suffering. Apavarga or liberation is absolute 
freedom from pain. This implies that it is a state in 
which the soul is released from all the bonds of its 
connection with the body and the senses. So long as 
the soul is conjoifted with a body, it is impossible for 
it to attain the state of utter freedom from pain. The 
body with the sense organs being there, we cannot 
possibly prevent their contact with undesirable and 
unpleasant objects, and so must submit to the inevi- 
table experience of painful feelings. Hence in 
liberation, the soul must be free from the shackles of 
the body and the senses. But when thus severed from 
the body, the soul ceases to have 
Inittbe kit ewai not on ] y painful but also pleasur- 

to liave any exptn- * * * 

ence, pamfui or plea- a ble experiences, nay more, it 

Billable, and exists as 

a pure substance de- ceases to have any experience or 

void of consciousness. • ., . ,., . . ,, 

consciousness. So in liberation the 
self exists as a pure substance free from all connection 
with tbe body, neither suffering pain, nor enjoying 
pleasure, nor having consciousness even. Liberation 
is the negation of pain, not in the sense of a suspen- 


sion of it for a longer or shorter period of time, as in 
a good sleep or a state of recovery from some disease 
or that of relief from some bodily or mental affliction. 
It is absolute freedom from pain for all time to come. 
It is just tbat supreme condition of the soul which has 
been variously described in the scriptures as 'freedom from 
fear' (abbayam), 'freedom from decay and change' (aja- 
ram), 'freedom from death' (amrtyupadam), and so forth. 1 
To attain liberation one must acquire a true know, 
ledge of the self and all other objects of experience • 
(tattva-jBana). He must know the self as distinct from 
the body, tbe mind, tbe sentes, etc. For this he should 
first listen to the scriptural instruc- 

Tl.e way to attain- t j ons ab t a , f (£ ravan a). Then, 

meet oi liberation. v • ' 

he should firmly establish tbe know- 
ledge of the self by means of reasoning (mamma). 

Finally, he must meditate on the pjelf in conformity 
with the principles of yoga (nididhyasana). These help 
him to realize the true nature of the self as distinct 
from the body and all other objects. With this reali- 
zation, the wrong knowledge (mithya-j&ana) that 'I am 
the body and the mind' is destroyed, and one ceases to 
be moved to action fpravi'tti) by passions and impulses 
(dosa). When a man becomes thus free from desires 
and impulse*, be ceases to be affected by the effects of 
his present actions, done with no desire for fruits. 
His past karmas or deeds being exhausted by producing 
their effects, the individual has to undergo no more birth 
in this world (janma). Tbe cessation of birth means the 
end of his connection with tbe body and, consequently, 
of all pain and suffering (duhkba)jand tbat is liberation. 1 

1 Vide Bh&iya, 1, 1. 32. cf. PraSna Upmifad, 5. 7. 

* Cf. £/tdfya, 1. 1. S; Tarkosahgraha and Dipiki, pp. 106-107. 


V. The Nyiya Theology 

It is by no means true to say that the Nyaya and 
the VaUesika Sutra make no men- 

«nsr£irS£ tion ° f Goil We d ° ** Bhort 

pfca »fitra*. references to the Divine Being in 

both the siitras. 2 The later Naiyiyikas give us an 
elaborate theory of God and connect it with the 
doctrine of liberation. According to these Naiyayikas, 
the individual self can attain true knowledge of realities 
and, through it, the state of liberation only by the 
grace of God. Wi-Miout God's grace neither the true 
knowledge of the categories of philosophy nor the 
highest end of liberation is attainable by any individual 
being of the world. So the questions that arise are : 
What is God? How do we know that God exists? 

1. The Idea of God 

God is the ultimate cause of the creation, main- 
tenance and destruction of the 

creates, maintains and wor ]d out f nothing, but out of 
destroys the world. ° 

eternal atoms, space, time, ether, 
minds (manas) and bouIs. The creation of the world 
means the ordering of the eternal entities, which are 
coexistent with God, into a moral world, in which in- 
dividual selves enjoy and suffer according to the merit 
and demerit of their actions, and all physical objects 
serve as means to the moral and spiritual ends of our 

1 Vide Hiriyanna, Outline* of Indian Philosophy, p. 242. 
1 Fide Nyiya-int, 4. 1. 19-21 ; Vaiiefika-M., 2. 1. 17-19. 


life. God is thus the creator of the world in the sense 
of being the first efficient cause of the world and not 
its material cause, i.e. a sort of deiniurgus or a 
builder of the ordered universe. He is also the pre- 
server of the world in so far as the world is kept in 
existence by the will of God. So also He is the des- 
troyer who lets loose the forces of destruction when the 
exigencies of the moral world require it. Then, God is 
one, infinite and eternal, since the world of space and 
time, minds and souls does not limit Him, but is 
related to Him as a body to the self which resides in 
it. He is omnipotent, although Hjs Is guided in His 
activities by moral considerations of the merit and de- 
merit of human actions. He is omniscient in so far as 
He possesses right knowledge of all things and events. 
He has eternal intelligence as a power of direct and 
steadfast cognition of all object >. Eternal intelligence 
is only an inseparable attribute of God, not His very 
essence as maintained in the Advaita- Vediinta. He 
possesses to the full all the six perfections usadaisvaryya) 
and is majestic, almighty, all-glorious, infinitely beauti- 
ful, and possessed of infinite kruwledge and perfect 
freedom from attachment. ' 

Just as God is the efficient cause ol the world, so 

He is the directive cause of the 
He \i also the moral .- <■ n ■ • ■ • ■ X t 

governor of .11 l.viug a ^ous oi all living beings. No 

being* including our- creature, not even man, is abso- 

lutely free in his actions. He is 

relatively free, i.e. his actions are done by him 

under the direction and guidance of the Divine 

Being. Just as a wise and benevolent father 

1 Vide §at}datfana, Ch . 1 , Kusumailjali, 5. 


directs his son to do certain things, according to his 
gifts, capacities and previous attainments, so God 
directs all living beings to do such actions and feel such 
natural consequences thereof as are consistent with their 
past conduct and character. While man is the efficient 
instrumental cause of his actions, God is their efficient 
directive cause (prayojoka karta). Thus God is the 
moral governor of the world of living beings including 
ourselves, the impartial dispenser of the fruits of our 
actions tkai'maphaladata), and the supreme arbiter of 
our joys and sorrows. ' 

2. Proofs for the Existence of God 

Now the more important question which naturally 
arises here is this : What are the proofs for the exist- 
ence of God? The Njiiyu -Yaisesikas have to their 
credit an array of proofs which include almost all the 
arguments given in Western philosophy for God's 
existence. There are ,ts many as ten proofs, of 
which the more important may be considered here. 

(i)-The Causal Argument 

AH composite objects of the world, formed by the 
combination of atoms (e.g. moun- 

All composite and ta j„ s geag e(CJ mUst have a cause 
limited objects of the ' 

world must have au because tbey are of the nature of 

intelligent miker who ■*,,., ,„, , 

is omnipotent and effects, like a pot. That all such 

£E?Sjoa" d that ob i ects of the world are effect8 

follows first from their being made 
up of parts (savayava) and secondly, from their possess- 
ing an intermediate magnitude (avantaramahattva). 

1 Vide Nyiya-bh&tya, 4.1 '21. 


Space, time, ether and self are not effects, because these 
are infinite substances, not made up of parts. Atoms 
of earth, water, light and air, and tbe mind are not the 
effects of anycause. because they are simple, indivisible 
and infinitesimal substances. All other composite 
objects of the world, like mountains and seas, the 
sun and the moon, the 6tars and tbe plane tsjnust 
be the effects of. some cause, since they are both made 
up of parts and possess limited dimensions. These 
objects are what they are because of the concurrence 
of a number of material causes. Therefore, there must 
be an intelligent cause (karta), for "all these effects. 
Without the guidance of an intelligent cause the 
material causes of these things cannot attain just that 
order, direction and co-ordination which enable them 
to produce theslTdefiniie effects. This intelligent cause 
must have a direct knowledge of the material causes 
(the atoms) as means, a desire to attain some end, and 
the power of will to accomplish or realize the end 
fjfiana-cikirsa-krti). He must also be omniscient 
(6arvajna), since only an omniscient being can have 
direct knowledge of such absolutely simple and 
infinitely small entities as atoms and the like. That 
ip, He must be God and none but God. ' 

The first argument of the N'aiytiyikus, it will be 

A comparison of rt, 6 observed, resembles the causal argu- 

Naiyftyika'a einsal ' ment for God 's existence ;«a explained 

argument with that of by some Western thinkers like Paul™ theologians. Janet,- Hermann Lotze ' and James 

1 Vide Kusuiiiailjali, 5; Sarvodarfanu, Ch XI: Tarkunoiigraha 
and Dipika, pp. 21-22. 

* Vide Final Causes, Bk. 1 . Ch. I. 

* Vide Outline* of a Philosophy oj Religion, Chi. I and IT. 


Martineau. 1 According to them, the world of finite 
objects requires an intelligent cause which gives order 
and co-ordination to their concurrent physical causes. Thus 
Janet lays it down as a principle that all co-ordination 
between divergent phenomena implies a final cause or 
an intelligent agent who effects the complex combi- 
nation of such separate phenomena. So also,, both Lotze 
and Martineuu start from the fact of physical causation 
in the world and rise up to the conception of an intelligent 
principle as its ultimate ground and reason. Indeed, the 
Naiy&yifca view of an efficient cause as an intelligent agent 
strikingly anticipates Martineau 's idea of cause as will direc- 
ted to the realization of end6. There is, however, some 
differ' ncc between these theists and the Naiviivikas. Western 
theists generally believe that God is not only the c ause 
of the order and* u, mty oi things in th f world, but alsoibxL~ 
creativ e en ergy that gives ^sffl»ic<j.lfltheihings of Nature^ 
TorTFe~T TOyayikas,~' no wever, God is only the caj»ej>fjjhe._ 
order ol Nature, and not' of tile" existence of The xiltimate 
consti tuen ts of it. Still the Nyaya conception of God 
cannot be "called deistic. According to deism , God creates 
th'eTworld at a uertaih~point t)f time" trnn then leaves jt_ 
tq itself. _ He ha's usually" no concern with the affairs 
of the .world,- although He may occasionally interfere 
with the'm in case of grave emergency as n clock-maker., 
does when his manufactured clock gets out </f order., On 
(he Nyaya theory, however, God mitintains a continuous 
relation with the world (hoing conceived as not only the 
creator, but uJpo as it* muintainer and destroyer). Thin 
is the essence of theism as distinguished from di-isin and, 
as .such, the Nyfiya conception of God is rather th"istic 
than deistic. 

(it) The Argument from Adrsta 

The second argument of the Naiyayikas is this : The 

_, ,._ question here is : How are we to 

The differences in our 4 . , ,, ,.- . . . 

lot require an explaDa- account for the differences m our lot. 

Hon which must be here on earth ? Some people are 

given in terms of our happy and some miserable, some 

good or bad deedB. w j fie an( j gome ignorant. What may 

be the cause of all these variations in our worldly life ? 

Vide A Study 0/ Religion, BK. II, Ch. I, 


We cannot say that they Jiave no cauBes, because these 
ore bo many events in our life, and every event must Lave 
its cause. Now the causes which produce our joys and 
sorrows in this life are our own actions in this or some 
previous iifc. We enjoy or suffer in this life because of 
our good or bad aclionfe. The Jaw that governs the lives of 
individual souls is the moral law of karma which requires 
that every individual being must reap the fruits of its 
own actions, good or bad, right or wrong. There is 
nothing strange or improbable in this. It follows logically 
from the law of universal causation, which means that 
every cause must produce its effect and every effect 
must be produced by its cause. That our moral 
actions are as good causes as our physic-! actions must be 
admitted by every one who believes in the law of causation 
and extends it to the moral world. • Just as bodily actB 
produce bodily changes, and mental functions produce 
mental changes and dispositions, so morally good or bad 
actions lead to good or bad moral conEequenceB, such as 
reward or punishment, happiness or misery. Hence it is ' 
established that our joys and Borrows are due (o our own 
actions. 1 » 

But the next question is: How do our moral actions 

Ao>l. is the stock P rodl l C6 thcir , ^sequences which 

of merit and demerit. mav ho separated from them by long 

accruing from our good intervals of time ? Many of our 

and bad actions. Po joys and sorrows cannot be traced 

our lot is dttMiniafrf fo fm} work fJone b m ■ thi ]if 

hy our own actions. 1? _ n , L i' j ± 

.frven those that are due to acts 

done in this life, do not arise out of them immediately, 

1 If the world be created by God, who is not only omnipotent but 
also moraVy perfect, it is not unreasonable to think chat good actions 
must produce good effects and bad actions must produce bad effects is 
our lives. If God is both the creator and moral governor of the world, 
it logically follows that human beings are responsible to God for their 
actions. It follows aho that our actions are judged by God as good or 
had, right or wronp, according as they do or do not help ns to realize the 
end of our life, or to perform out own duties to God and man. And 
from this it is but natural and rational to conclude that God rewards ni 
fdr our good acts and punishes us for bad ones. In other words, in 
• world created by God, good actions must lead to good results and evil 
actions mutt not fail to'Iead to evil consequences. 


but after some time. A sinner m the heyday ol youth 
may be a sufferer in the infirmity of old age. So it is 
maintained that our good actions produce a certain effi- 
ciency called merit (punya), and bad actions produce some 
deficiency called demerit (papa) in our souls and these 
persist long after our actions have ceased and disappeared. 
This stock of merit and demerit accruing from 'good and 
bad actions is called adrsta. There is nothing more 
mysterious in the concept of adrsta than in those of virtue 
and vice. Just as good actions have n purifying, so bad 
actions have a corrupting effect on our nlrnd. And just 
as virtue conduces to a sense of security, serenity and 
peace fin a word, happiness), so vice plunges the mind 
into the ruffled waters of suspicion, distraction and 
uneasiness (in a word, unhnppiness). In the same way, 
adrsta, as the sum-tbtal of merit and demerit accruing 
from our past actions, produces our present joys and 

But how is it that adrsta manages to produce the proper 
consequences ? It is an unintelligent 
But adrsta being an principle which cannot by itself 
unintelligent principle • )oad to j ust t ] iat kjnd and deRrce of 
requires to be guided . ,' , . , , . 

by a supremely wise Joy and sorrow which art- due to 
person, namely, God. our ptist. actions. So it is argued 
that adrsta must bt guided by some 
intelligent agent, to produce its proper consequences. 
Individual selves cannot, be said to direct or control adysta, 
for they do not know anything about their adrsta, and 
further, it is not infrequently that adrsta defies the control 
of their will. So the intelligent agent, who guides adrsta 
through the proper channels to produce the proper effects, 
is the eternal, omnipotent and omniscient Divine Being. 
Tt is God who controls our adrsta, and dispenses 
all the joys and sorrows of our life, in strict accordance 
with it. Or, as Kant would say, it is God who combines 
happiness with virtue and misery with vice. God gives us 
the fruits of our actions in the shape of enjoyments or 
afflictions in a way sim>lar to that in which a wise and 
potent monarch rewards or punishes his subjects according 
to the merit or guilt attaching to their good or bad actions. 1 

Vtde KusumaAjali, 1. 


(Hi) The Argument from the Authoritativeness 
of the Scriptures 

Anotfier argument for God's existence is baBed on the 
authoritative character of the Vedas. 

cv! e S L« sra TLe r? ority ° r the ^tr 8 i 

authoritative tests, accepted as unquestionable and 
This is due to the infallible in all religions. Now the 
supreme authority of question, we are to consider hero, is 
tbHr author who i.mst ^ Wh t j s t , )e gource of lhe 
be omniscient, and so , . , , , , , „ , , 

none other than God. authority of the \eclas? According 
to the Naiyiiyikas, tbe authority 
(pram any a) of the Vedus has its source in the supreme 
authority of their author (ftptapmmanyn). i List as the 
Buthoritativenessol the medical science, or for the matter ot 
tliat, of ali sciences, is derived from the scientists who 
founded them, so the authoritativeness of the Vedas is 
derived from some person who imparted that character to 
them. The validity ol the Vedas may be tested like that of 
uny science, by following their injunctions about worldly 
objects and seeing how they produce the desired results. Of 
course, the truth of other Vedic texts beurinp on supersen- 
sible objects cannot, iiKe some scientific truths, be tested in 
this way. Stiil, we may accept the wlujio ol tin. Vedas as 
valid and authoritative, in the sunn, way in which we 
accept the whole of a science as true when, as a matte; of 
fact, we can verify only some parts of it. S>o we must ex- 
plain the authority of the Vedas by referring! them to some 
authoritative person. Now the in dividual self (jlva^cannoi. 
be the author of the Vedas, since the'siiprumundane reali- 
ties and the transcendent principles related in the Vedas 
cannot be objects of t fie knowledge of any ordinary indi- 
vidual. Hence the author of the Vedas must be the 
supreme person who has a direct knowledge of all objects, 
past, present and future, finite, infinite and infinitesimal, 
sensible and supersensible. That is, the Vedas. like other 
scriptures, are revealed by tiod. 1 

1 XyHya-bh&xya, 2. 1. C8, A'uiumdAjai), 5, p. G'l 


(tc) The Testimony of Sruti 

Another proof of God's existence is this : God exists, 
because the Vedic scripture (srutij 
Tue Sroti bear* bears testimony to His existence, 
teptimoay to the exia- Here are some of the scriptural texts : 
tence of God. • 'The highest eternal self is the Lord of 

all, the ruler of all, the protector of 
all..." "The great unborn spirit is the receiver o f all ' 
offerings and the giver of all gifts." 1 "The one God lies 
hidden in all, is all-prevading, is the inmost self of all and 
the controller and sustainer of all." 2 "He is the ruler 
of all selves and the creator of the world."' In the 
Bhagavadglta also, the Lord says : "1 am the Fatber and 
the Mother of this world, its Foster-parent, and its eternal 
and immutable God." "I am the highest end of all, the 
maintainer of all, the controller of all, the witness of all, 
the abode of all, the shelter of all, the friend of all, tbe 
creator of all , the destroyer of all, tbe substratum of all, 
and tbe unchanging ground of the origin and destruction 
of all." 1 

It will appear from tbe above that the sruti or tbe 

scripture hears unmistakable testimony to the existence 

or God. But the questiou that may 

But why shoulJ one ag jtate the mind of tbe reader is : 

W.S&£S?S2 Wh >i sho » 1 l one «*"■«« God .imply 
point ? on the authority of the scriptures / 

An ordinary man may be inclined to do 
so, if he has not the spirit of critical enquiry in him. 
But a critical philosopher may say that scriptural testi- 
mony has no importance for philosophy, which is satisfied 
with nothing short of logically valid arguments in the 
attainment of true knowledge about anything, human or 
divine. So long as these are not forthcoming, the appeal 
to authority is of no avail. It may also be thought that 
such logical support for the belief in God is afforded by the 

1 Brhadaranyal.a L'lianifad, 4. i. 22, i. 1. 24. 

' StetaSvatara Vpanifad, fi. 11. 

1 Kaufitaki Vpanifad, i. 18. 

* BhagavadgM, 9, 17-18. 


traditional proofs of God's existence. But as Iznmanuel 
Kant 1 and, after him, Hermann 

An examination of Lotze'huve clearly shown, none ol 
toe so-culled croois n •* ■* , n 

for x Gcd's existence the so-called proofs can really prove 
shews that Goii can- the existence of God. To prove any- 
not be proved in any thing is to deduce it as a necessary 
way for all pioofg pre- conclusion from certain given pre- 
G„Ta1 .pTrC ' «ni"«. But God being the highest of 

all premises, i.e. the ultimate reality, 
there cannot be any anterior premise or premises from 
which we can deduce God as a conclusion. The onco- 
logical proof starts from the idea ol the most perfect being 
and infers its existence on the ground that without exis- 
tence it would not be most perfect. So, the cosmological 
argument starts from the sensible wor'd as a finite and 
conditioned reality, and argues to the existence of an 
infinite, unconditioned and supersensible reality as the 
ground thereof. Similarly, the teleological proof lays stress 
on the udaptation of means to ends which we find every- 
where in nature und infers the existence of an infinitely 
intelligent creator of the world. But nil these proofs are 
vitiated by the fallacy of deducing the existence of God 
from the mere idea of Him. The idea of the most perfect 
being may involve the idea of existence, but not actual 
existence, just as the thought of one hundred rupees in my 
pocket involves the imuge or the idea of their existence, 
but not their real physical existence. So, to think of the 
conditioned world we have to think of the unconditioned, 
or lo eaiplain the adaptation of things we lave to think of 
an intelligent cause. But to think of the existence of 
something is not to prove its existence, since the thought 
of existence is not actuul existence. 

The conclusion to be drawn from all this is that the 

existence of God cannot be proved by any argument. In 

truth, mere reasoning or logical argu- 

Experience is the meat, cannot prove the existence of 
only source of our aD y(,uirjg. The existence of a thing 

knowledge about fact J , , ° ,. .. . _., .. £ 

or existence. ls to l)0 Known, if at all, through 

experience, direct or indirect. A man 
of normal vision may indirectly knew what orange colour 
is, if he has seen red and yellow, but no orange as yet. 
But a man who is born blind can never know what colour 

1 Vide R. Cnird, The Critical Philosophy of Kant, Vol. II, Ch. XIII. 
" V'At Outlines a/ a Philosophy o/ Religion, Cb. I. 
82— 100JH 


is, however much he may argue and reason logically. If 
by some surgical operation, the man is blessed with the 
power of vision, a single glance at some coloured objects 
shall reveal to bim the world of cilours. Lotze 1 told, us 
the truth about our knowledge of Qod when he said: 
" Therefore, all proofs that God exists are pleas put 
forward in justification of our faith and of the particular 
way in which we feel that we must apprehend this 
highest principle." This point becomes more clear 
when in bis criticism of Anselm's form of the ontologioal 
proof, he observes: "To him (Anse'm) the assumption 
that it (God) does not exist seemed to conflict with 
that immediate conviction of its reality, which all our 
theoretic, aesthetic, and moral activities constrain our 
souls to entertain". "Although," he goes on to say, 
" weak enough as a proof, Anselm's argument expresses an 
immediate fact about our minds, namely that impulse 
which we experience towards the supersensuous, and that 

_ ,. . faith in its truth which is the starting- 

God s existence must ' . . , .. . . ,, r , , ° 

be known through P 0Illt of a11 religion. It becomes 
direct experience and adundautly cleur from all this that 
not by means of God must be known through direct ex- 
reasoning. < perience and not through any process 
of reasoning, If there is this direot experience, no proof is 
necessary, just as no reasoning is needed to convince you 
that you are now reuding this book. If there is no duvet 
experience oi God, we may pile up proof after proof and 
yet remain as unconvinced as ever with regard to the 
existence of God. 

For the knowledge of God or of any supersensuous 

reality, those who have no direct ex- 

Those wbohave do perience must d spend on the authority 

direct experience of of those rare blessed souls who are 

th* wL!&L f »t P ure in heart aDd ha ™ seen God, 
tneir knowledge about f., ,, TT .. , ,. 

Qod. en others who llk <* th e Upamsadic 6eers and the 

have that direct e\- Christian saints. So, sruti or the 

perience. The sruti scripture, being the embodiment of 

being the expression tfae b aowi rf ge j mpa rted by the 
of sneo direct ex- ,. ,. » a r , •>. — « 

perience of God is a enlightened sages and seers of God, 

just source of our may be accepted as a source of right 

belief in God. knowledge about God. Just as the 
great scientists and their sciences 

have been, for all ages, the source of our knowledge of 

1 Op. eit., pp. P, 19 (italics ours). 


many scientific truths, so the Vedas and Upanisads (aruti) 
constitute a just ground of our belief in one universal 
spiritual truth, ».«. God. 1 

3. Anti-theistic Arguments 

It map be objected here that the last two proofs given 

above involve us in the fallacy of 

The charge of arguing reasoning in a circle. In the third 

in a circle agiin.t {( jt is gbo „ n that God is tLe 

2T,i'«i W0 P " »»*»>«» ol the Vedas, while in the 
fourth, the Vedas are exhibited as the 
ground of our knowledge of God. It appears, therefore, 
that we prove God's exist* nee from the Vedas and that 
of the Vedas by the revelation of God. But that there is 
really no circular reasoning here becomes clear when we 
distinguish between the order of knowledge and the order 
of existence. In the order of existence, God is first and 
creates the Vedas, imparting to them their authoritative 
character. In the order of knowledge, however, the Vedas 
come 6r6t, and we rise from than to a knowledge of God. 
But for our knowledge of the Vcdi^s, we need not be 
necessarily and absolutely dependent on God, since these 
may be learned from an eligible and efficient teacher. 
A I! reciprocal dependence is net reasoning in a circle. It 
is only when there is reciprocal dependence with reference 
to the same order or within the same univer&e of discourse, 
that there arises the fallacy of it asoning in n circle. In 
the piesent case, however, the Vedas depend en God for 
their existence but not for their knowledge, while God 
depends on the Vedas for our knowledge of Mini but not 
for Hi6 existence. fc?o there is really no fallacy of reason- 
ing in n circle.* 

Another objection to the Nyftya theory of God is tbis : 

If God be the creator of the world, 
Keply to the second H e mugt j Jnve a bo{ jy t B j ncc w Jthout 

body no action is possible. This 
objection, the Naiyayikas reply, fails because it is caught 
between the two horns of a dilemma. If God's existence 
is proved by sruti, then tie objection stands precluded, for 
there in no point in arguing against what is already proved. 
On the other hand, if the very exigence of God <s not 

1 Cf. KummMjati, 6- 

' Vide Sorvadariana. Cb. XI. 


proved, there is no basis for an argument against tbe 
possibility of his action without a body. 1 

Still another antitheistic argument is based on the 

problem of the end of creation. In 
Tbe third objection oreat i ng the world God must have 
and tbe Naiy&yika's ° , . , , , . 

reply to it. some end m view, for nobody acts 

without a desire to realizwsome end. 
But what may be the erjd of God's creative activity ? It 
cannot be any end of His own, becouse there are no un- 
fulfilled desires or unattained ends in the Divine Being 
who is perfect. Nor can it be the end or pood ot others. 
He who labours cnly for others must not be regarded as 
an intelligent person. It cannot be said that God was 
moved by compassion (karunii) in the act of creation. If 
it were really so, He should have made all his creatures 
perfectly happy and not so miserable as we actually find 
them. Compassion is just the desire to relieve the suffer- 
ing of other creatures without any sell -interest. So it 
follows that tho world is not created by God. The 
Naiyfiyikas meet this objection thus : "God's action in 
creation is indeed caused by compassion. But wc must 
not forget that thfi idea of creation which consists only 
of happiness is inconsistent with the nature of things. 
Certain eventual differences in the form of happiness or 
misery are bound to arise out of the good or bad actions 
of the beings vho are to be created. It cannot be said 
that this will limit God's independence in eo far as His 
compassionate creative act depends on the actions of other 
beings. One's own body does not hinder one. Rather, it 
helps one to act and achieve one's ends. In a like 
manner, the created world does not hinder and limit God, 
but serves as the means for the realization of God's moral 
ends and rational purposes." 3 

VI. Conclusion 

The value of the Nyaya system lies especially 
in its methodology or theory of knowledge on which it 
builds its philosophy. One of the charges against Indian 
philosophy is that it is based on religious authority and 

1 Ibid. 

» Ibid. 


ia, therefore, dogmatic and not critical. The Nyaya 
philosophy is a standing repudiation of this charge. 
The theory of knowledge, formulated by the Nyaya, 
is made the basis not only of the Nyaya-Vais*eeika, but 
also of other Indian system?, with slight modifications. 
/The Nyaya applies the method of logical criticism to 
Folve the problems of life and reality. It is by means 
of a sound logic that it finds out the truth and defends 
it against hostile criticism. But the Nyaya theory of 
pluralistic realism is not as satisfying as its logic. 
Here we have a common-Fense view of the world as 
a system of many independent realities, like material 
atoms, minds, individual souls and God, which are 
externally related to one another in space, time and 
akasa. It does not give us a systematic philosophy 
of the world as a whole in the light of one universal 
absolute principle. The philosophical position of the 
Nyaya is said to be lower than that of the Sankbya or 
the Vedanta. ThiB becomes manifest when we con- 
sider its theory of the individual self and God. 
According to it, the individual self is a substance which 
is not essentially conscious and intelligent, but is 
accidentally qualified by consciousness when associated 
with a body. But such a view of the self is contra- 
dicted by the evidence of our direct experience which 
reveals the self as an essentially conscious subject and 
not as a thing with the quality of consciousness. 
Further, on this view, the liberated self has no cons- 
ciousness and is, therefore, indistinguihsable from a 
material substance. The Nyaya conception of God as 
the architect of the world, its efficient but not material 
cause, has an obvious reference to human relations and 


reduces God to the position of a human artificer who 
makes things out of given material. There is indeed 
the suggestion that the world of things and beingB is 
related to God as one's body is to one's self. But this 
idea is not properly developed. in the direction of a full- 
fledged theism. Still, aa a philosophy of life, the 
Nyaya theism is no lees edifying and assuring thaa 
other forms of it. 




Granganath Jba 

Jagadisa Tarkalaiikara 

Laugaksi Bhaskara 

A. B. Keith 

Nandalal Sinha 

J. C. Chatierji 

(Cbowkbamba, Bena- 

Nydya-kandali (Viziana- 
gram Sanskrit Series, 
Lazarus & Co., Bena- 

of Prafastapada with 
Nyaya-kandali oj SrU 
dhara (Eng. trans., 
Lazarus & Co., Bena- 

Tarkamrta (Calcutta). 

Nydya-Uldvati (Nirnaya 
Sagar, Bombay). 

Tarka-kaumudl (Nirnaya 
Sagar, Bombay). 

Indian Logic and Atomism. 

Sarva-dariana-sangraha — 
Ch. on Vai&sika. 

The Vaiksika Sutras oj 
Kandda (with Eng. 
trans., Indian Press, 

The Hindu Realism 
Indian Press, Allaha- 



I. Introduction 


Tbe VaisVsika system was founded by Kanada. It 
is so named in view of tbe fact that 

The VaisVpika »ys- , . , , > ■ 

tmi was foundid by visesa as a category of know- 
Kal?4da- ledge has been elaboratel y discusse d 

iu it. Tbe founder of this philosophy, we ate told, 
was sumamed 'Kanada' because he led tbe life of an 
atcetic arid used to live on grains of corn gleaned 
from the field. He wat. al>o named Ulub«. So tbe 
VaisWka philosophy is also known as the Kanada or 
Aulukya system. 

The first systematic work of this philosophy i6 tbe 
Vaiscsika-sutra of Kanada. It is 

JSr «f .J'S- diviJe ' d in, ° ten aa,, ^ as or book9 » 

each consisting of two ahnikas or 
sections. Prasastapada's Padarlha-dharmasangraha 
has not the character of a 13hasya, but reads like an 
independent exposition of the Vaisesika philosophy. 
Further, we know from two commentaries * on 
Saiikara's &ariraka Dhdsya thai Ravana, King of 
Ceylon, wrote a commentary on the Vaiiesiha-sutra, 
Udayana's Kiranacali and Siidhara's Nydya-kandali 
are two excellent commentaries on PraSistapada's 
work. Vallabbucana's Nyayj-lilavati is a valuable 
compendium of Vaisesika philosophy. Tbe later works 
on tbe Vais"esika combine this system with the Nyaya. 

1 Vtde I'rakatd'tha »n,i Ratnaptabha, 2.2.11. 


Of these Sivadiiya'sSapta'paddrthi, Laugaksi Bhaskara's 
Tarka-kaumudl and Visvanatba's Bhasapariccheda with 
its commentary are important. 

The Nyaya and the Vaisesika are allied systems of 
philosophy (samanatantra) . Tley 

bSKSSl 10 the have the eame end in view ' name, y» 

liberation of the individual self. 

According to both, ignorance is the root cause of all 

pain and suffering ; and liberation, which consists in 

their absolute cessation, is to be attained through a 

right knowledge of reality. There is, however, 6ome 

difference between the two systems on two fundamental 

points. While the Nyaya accepts four independent 

sources of knowledge, namely, perception, inference, 

comparison and testimony, the Vaisesika recognizes 

only two, viz. perception and inference, and reduces 

comparison and veibal testimony to perception and 

inference. Secondly, the Naiyayikas give us a list of 

sixteen padarthas which, according to them, cover the 

whole of reality and include those accepted in the other 

system. The Vaisesikas, on the other hand, recognize 

only seven padarthas and comprehend all reals under 

them. These seven categories of reality aie (J) dravya 

„,, or substance. <2) guna or quality, 

The seven categories ° • ^ * 

oi the Vsiatsika (3) karma or action, (4) 6amanya or 
* J m ' generality, (5) vis>sa or particula- 

rity, (6) samavaya or the relation of inherence, and (7) 
abhava or non-existence. The Vaisesika philosophy is 
an elaboration and a critical study of these seven cate- 

Padartha literally means the object denoted by a 
word. So by padartha we propose to mean all objects 

THE VAB$E?IKA philosophy 259 

of knowledge or all reals. Now, according to the 

Vaisesikas, all objects, denoted by words, may be 

broadly divided into two classes, 
of which six are 
positive and one uega- namely, being and non-being (bhava 

and abhava). Being stands for all 

that is or for all positive realities, such as existent 

physical things, miDds, souls, etc. Similarly, non-being 

stands for all negative facts hke the non-existence of 

things. There are six kinds of being or positive 

realities, namely, substance, quality, action, generality, 

particularity and inherence. To these the later 

Vaisesikas added a Eeventb padartba called abhava 

which stands for all negative facts. 1 


II. The Categories 

1. Substance or Dravya 2 
A dravya or substance is that in which a quality 

Snbst.nce i* the 0F an action can exif,t ' but which ifl 
■nbstiaiumof qualities distinct from both. Without sub- 
ur,d aciitns ond the 

nmipiial ruus* oi com- stance theie can be no quality or 
posiir .icg«. action. A thing must be or exist, if 

it is to have any quality or action belonging to it. So 
a substance is the substratum of qualities and actions. 
It is also the constitutive or material cause (sama- 
vayikarana) cf other composite things produced from 
it. Thus a cloth is a composite thing formed by the 

1 Vide Torkamjta, Ch. I ; TarkabhStt, p. 29; VaUejika-tit., 

1 Vide Ta'kasahgraho, Pecs, on Eddesa and Dravya; TatkabhSsi, 
pp. 20-33; VaUetika-iUt., 1.1.16 


combination of a number of threads of a certain colour. 
Now the threads are the material or constitutive causes 
of the cloth, because it is made of threads and subsists 
in them. Similarly, wood and lead are the material 
causes of a wooden pencil because it is made of them ' 
There are nine kinds of substances, namely, earth or 
prthivl, water or jala, liL'ht or tejas., 
JriS££? kin " ^r or vayu, ether or aka^a, time or 
kala, space or dik, soul or atina, 
and mind or manas. Of theee the first five are called 
physical elements (paiicabhiita), since each of them 
possesbes a specific or peculiar quality (vis*esa guna) 
which is sensed by an external sense. Smell is the 
peculiar property of earth. Other substances have 
6mell only as they are mixed up with some quantity 
of earth. There is smell in muddy water, but no smell 
in water which is pure. Taste is the peculiar property 
of water; colour of light, touch of air, and sound of 

1 As distinguished from Bamavavikarai)&, the colour of the threads 
is, according to the Nyaya-VaisvBika, the asamavavikarana or noo- 
conetitutive cause cf the co'our cf the cloth. It is the mediate 
cause of on effect. The colour of the threads dclei mines the 
roloor of Ibe cloth through bejDg related to the threads tvbxh 
are the constitutive causes. There is still another bind of cause, 
namely, the nimittakaiana or efficient cause. It stands for that cause ol 
an effect which is neither constitutive nor non-constitutive, but siill 
necessary for the effect. Thus the shuttle is the efficient cause of the 
cloth, because it is the instrument by which the combination of threads 
ia effected in order to manufacture a piece of cloth. It includes also the 
directive cause (prayojaka or nirvartaka) and 6nal cause (bhokta) of the 
effect. In relation to a cloth, the weaver is the prayojaka or directive 
cause because he ia the agent who acts on and directs the previous sausee 
to bring about the effect. So also, the bbokl& or final cause of the doll 
is the person or persons whoso purpose it serves, i.e. the wearer of thfc 
cloth • C/. Aristotle's classification of causes into the formal, material, 
efficient and final. 


ikSsa or etber. There five epecific qualities are sensed 
by the five external senses. Each of the senses is con- 
stituted by tbe physical element whose specific quality 
is sensed by it. The sense of smell is constituted by 
the element of earth, tbe sense of taste by water, the 
seme of eight by light, tbat of touch by air, and that 
of hearing by akasa. We find tbat eartby substances, 
like odoriferous particles in smelling objects, manifest 
the quality of smell. From this we conclude that the 
Benre of smell which manifests smell is constituted by 
earth. For similar reasons it is he'iJ tbat the senses 
of taste, sight, touch and hearing are respectively 
made of the elements of water, light, air and ether. 

The substances of earth, water, light and air are 

of two kinds, namely, eternal 

Tbe »tpnn ».f eirth. (nitya) and non-eternal (anitva). 

water, light and air are „,. y . , 

eternal, wink con.. Ihe atonin (paramanu) of earth, 
%0i£S.££?- ™»er, light and air' are* eternal, 
because an atom is partle&s and can 
be neither produced nor destroyed. All other kinds of 
earth, water, etc. are non-eternal, because tbey are 
produced by the combination of atoms, and are, there- 
fore, subject to disintegration and destruction. /We 
cannot ordinarily perceive an atom. The existence of 
atoms is known by an inference 
Tim existence o« jjke this: The ordinary composite 

■tone ii prowd by in- ,..,,, ,, ,., . .1 

feience. objects of the world like jars, tables, 

and chairs, are made up of parts. 
Whatever is pioduced must be made up of parts, for to 
produce a thing is to combine certain parts in a certain 
way. Now if we go on reparating the parts of a com- 
posite thing, we shall pas* from larger to smaller, from 


smaller to still smaller, and from these to the smallest 
parts which cannot be farther divided in any way. 
These indivisible and minutest parts are called 
paramanus or atoms. An atom cannot be produced, 
because it has no parts, and to produce means to 
combine parts. Nor can it be destroyed, for to destroy 
a thing is to break it up into its parts, whereas the 
atom has no parts. Thus being neither produced nor 
destructible the atoms or the smallest parts of a thing 
are eternal. ^The atoms are different in kind. There 
are four kinds of atoms, namely, of earth, water, light 
and air, each having its peculiar quality. The VaisV 
sika view is thus different from that of the Greek 
atomists like Democntus who believe that all 
atoms are of the same kind, and that they differ in 

quantify and not in quality. 


Akiisa is the fifth physical suhRtance which is the 
subclrattiru of the quality of sound. 

lirai substance whicb cannot be perceived. There are 

if imperceptible 

two conditions of the external per- 
ception of a substance, namely, that it must have a 
perceptible dimension (mahattva) and manifest colour 
(udbhutariipavatlva). Akiisa is not a limited and 
coloured substance. Akasa is an all-pervading bearer 
of the quality of sound and is inferred from the. percep- 
tion of that quality. Eveiy quality must belong to 
some substance. Sound is not a quality of earth, water, 
light and air, because the qualities of these substances 
are not perceived by the ear, while sound is perceived 
by our ears. Further, there may be sound in regions 
relatively free from the influence of these substances. 


Nor can sound belong as a quality to space, time, soul 
and mind, for these exitt even when there is no sound 
to qualify them. So there must be some other sub- 
stance called akisa or ether of which sound is the 
quality. It is one and eternal because it is not made 
up of parts and does not depend on any other substance 
for its existence. It is all- pervading in the seme that 
it has an unlimited dimension and its effect or opera- 
tion is perceived everywhere. 

Space tdik) and time <kala) are, lik: akasa, imper- 
ceptible substances each cf which is 
Space and time also one, eternal and all-pervading. 

•re iu.peiceptible sub- . 

tuncej. bpace is inferred as the ground of 

ourcognitionscf ' here ' and ' there,' 
' near * and ' far.' Time is the cause of our cognitions 
of 'past.' 'present' and 'future,' 'older' and 
' younger.' Although one and indivit-ible, akasa, space 
and time are distinguished into different pans and 
thus conventionally spoken of as many by reason of 
certain limiting conditions (upadhi: which affect our 
knowledge of them. Thus the exprepsions ' the ether 
enclosed by a jar,' ' that by a house,' ' filled and 
empty space,' ' the east und the west,' ■ a mnute, an 
hour and a day ' ate due to the apparent distinctions, 
made by certain conditions, in what is really one ether, 
one space and one time. 

The soul (alma) is an eternal and all-pervading 
, substance which is the substratum 

Thf soul is bu eterutl 

nod all-pm-a ting s»b. of the phenomena of conscious- 

Btacie which m the . . , 

substratum of con- ness. There are t wo kinds of souls, 
■ciouiues*. namely, the individual soul <jlvat- 

ma) and the suprome soul (paramatma or Is\ara). 


The latter is one, and is inferred as the creator of 
the world. The former is internally or mentally 
perceived as possessing some quality when, far example, 
one says, ' I am happy,' ' I am sorry,' and so forth. 
The individual self is not one but many, being different 
in different bodies. 

Manas, which is a substance, is the internal sense 

(antarindriya) for the perception of 

Manas is an atomic the individual soul and its qualities, 

imperceptible aub- ... , , . - . 

■tance. Proofs for tde like pleasure ani pain. It is atomic 
theri! 01 mina80r and c a" Q0t » therefore, be perceived. 
Its existence is inferred from the 
following grounds: (a) Just as in the perception of 
the external objects of the world, we require the exter- 
nal senses, so in the perception of internal objects, like 
the 6oul, cognition, feeling and willing, there must be 
an internal sense, to which we give the name of 
mind (manas). (5) Secondly, we find that although 
the five external 6en*e* may be in contact with 
their respective objects at the same time, we have 
not simultaneous perceptions of colour, touch, sound, 
taste and smell. Bat why must this be so ? If when 
talking to a friend in your house, your eyes are in 
contact with his facial expressions, your ears are in 
contact with the rumbling sound of the tram car out- 
side, arid your skin is in contact with the clothes you 
wear, you should have simultaneous perceptions of the 
friend's face, of the tram car and of the clothes. But 
you do not get all the?e perceptions at the same time. 
This shows that over and above the contact between the 
external senses and their objects, there must be some 
other cause which limits the number of perceptions 

THE vai£bsika philosophy 265 

to one at a time, and the order of perceptions to 
one of succession, i.e. one after the other and not all 
together. Of the different objects which may be in 
contact with our external senses at one and tbe same 
time, we perceive only that to which we are attentive. 
This means that we must attend to, or turn our mind 
(manas) and fix it on (tnanoyoga) , the object of percep- 
tion. So every perception requires the contact of the 
mind (manas) with the object through its contact with 
the sense organ in question. That is, we must admit 
the existence of manas as an internal sense. That the 
manas is part less or atomic also follows from the 
order of succession among our experiences. If the 
mind were not an infinitesimal or partless entity, there 
could have been simultaneous contact of its many parts 
with many senses, and so the appearance of maDy per- 
ceptions at one and the same time. But as this is not 
the case, we are to say that the manas is partless or 
atomic, and functions as an internal Beu6e of percep- 
tion. Ti is the organ through which the soul attends to 

1. Quality or Guna ' 

A quality or guna is defined as that which exists in 

A quality exists iD n a substance and has no quality or 

£Sn Si,£ iu° "'tivity in itself. A substance exists 

"■ by itself and is tbe constituent 

(Ramavayij cause of things. An attribute depends for 

1 Vide Vaiiefika. ««/., 1 1.10 ; Tarkaxahgraha, Sec. on guija; 
TurhabhifS, pp. 94-28. 
34— 1C06B 


its existence on some substance and is never a constitu- 
tive cause of anything. It is a non-constitutive or non- 
material canse of things in so far as it determines only 
their nature and character, but not their existence. All 
qualities must belong to substances and so there cannot 
be qualities of a quality. A red colour belongB to 
some thing and not to any other colour. A quality 
(guna) is an unmoving or motionless property 
of things. It inheres in the thing as something 
passive and inactive (niskriya). So it is different from 
both substance (dravya) and action (karma). 

There are altogether twenty-four kinds of qualities. 

These are rupa or colour, rasa or 
£s re o?quS: f ° Ur taste, gandha or smell, sparSa or 

touch, sabda or sound, sankhya or 
number, parimana or magnitude, prthaktva or distinct- 
ness, samyoga or conjunction, vibhaga or disjunction, 
paratva or remoteness, aparatva or nearness, buddhi or 
cognition, sukha or pleasure, duhkha or pain, iccha or 
desire, dveBa or aversion, prayatna or effort, garutva or 
heaviness, dravatva or fluidity, sneha or viscidity, 
samskaraor tendency, dharma or merit, and adharma or 
demerit. Many of these qualities have subdivisions. 
Thus there are different kinds of colour like white and 
black, red and blue, yellow and green. There are diffe- 
rent kinds of taete, such as sweet, sour, bitter, etc. 
Smell is of two kinds, namely, good and bad. 
The quality of touch is of three kinds, viz. hot, 
cold, and neither hot nor cold. Sound is of two 
kinds, viz. dhvani or an inarticulate sound (e.g. the 
sound of a bell; and varna or an articulate sound (e.g. 
a letter-sound). 


Number is that quality of things for which we use 
the words, one, two, three. There 

oMbfoS. " * qU * Uty are man y kinds ol number from one 
upwards. Magnitude is that quality 

by which things are distinguished as large or small. It 
is of four kinds, viz. the atomic or 

Magnitude is a qua- 
lily of which there are extremely small, the extremely 
four kinds. ^^ the small and the ]a]>ge 

Prthaktva is that quality by which we know that one 
thing is different and distinct from another, e g. a jar 
from a picture, a table from a chair. 

Conjunction is the union between two or more 
n . ,. . things which can exiet separately, 

Conjunction is onion ° r J 

between two separable e.g. a book and a table. The 
things, and disjunc- 
tion is their tepira relation between an effect and its 

tion after conjunction. . . . .. 

cause is not one of conjunction, 
since the effect cannot exist without relation to the 
cause. Disjunction is the disconnection between things, 
which ends their previous conjunction. Conjunction is 
of three kinds, according as it is due to motion in one 
of the things conjoined (as when a flying kite sits on a 
bill top) , or to that of both the things (as when two 
balls moving from opposite directions meet and im- 
pinge).' It may also be due to another conjunction. 
When the pen in my hand touches the table, there is 
conjunction between my hand and the table, brought 
about by the conjunction between my hand and the pen. 
Similarly, disjunction may be caused by the motion of 
one of the things disjoined, as when a bird flies away 
from a bill-top. Or, it may be due to tbe motion of 
both the things, as when the balls rebound after impact. 
It may bIbo be caused by another disjunction as when I 


drop the pen from uiy band and thereby disconnect my 
hand from ihe table. 

Remoteness and nearness are each of two kinds, 
namely, the temporal and the 

There are two kinds 

of remoteoesB and spatial. As temporal, tljey mean 
neMDeB8 ' the qualities of being older and 

younger, and as spatial, those of being far and near. 

Buddhi, knowledge or cognition, and its different 
forms have been explained befoie. 1 Pleasure and pain, 
desire and aversion are well-known facts. Prayatna or 
effort is of three kinds, namely, 
ktoT tD8 " Cflbrec P r avmi or striving towards some 
thing, nivrtti or striving away 
from something, and jlvanayoni or vital function. 
Gurutva or heaviness is the cause of the fall of bodies. 
Dravatva or fluidity is the cause of the flowing of 
certain substances like water, milk, air, etc. Sneha 
or viscidity it the cause of the adhesion of different 
particles of matter into the shape of a ball or a lump. 
This quality belongs exclusively to water. 

Samskara or tendency is of three kinds, viz. v«gn or 

velocitv which keeps a thin" in 
Bo ft I bo samskara. 

motion, bhavana or menial impres- 
sions which help us to remember and recognize things, 
and sthitisthapaka or elasticity, by which a thing tends 
towards equilibrium when disturbed, e.g. a rubber 
garter. Dharma and adbarma respectively mean virtue 
and vice and are due to the performance of enjoined 
and forbidden acts. One leads to happiness and the 
other to misery. 

1 Vide Ch. V, pp. 191-93. 

THE VAISESIKA philosophy 2G9 

Thus we get a list of twenty-four qualities in the 

Vaisesika system. Now one may 

Wbj joit this Bam- ask : Why should we admit just 

ber of twenty.four ... , „ _ .. , , 

qaaiities? *hiR number? Can it not be more 

or less than that? To this we 
reply that if one takes into consideration the numerous 
subdivisions of these qualities, then their number 
would be very great. But in a classification of objects 
we are to reduce them to such kinds as are ultimate 
from u certan standpoint, i.e. do not admit of further 
reduction. So we come to the simplest forms or kinds 
of qualities. Thus while one compound colour like 
orange may be reduced to red and yellow, or a complex 
sound may be shown to arise out of the combination 
of other sounds, it is not possible for us to reduce 
colour to sound or any other quality. It is for this 
reuBon that we have to recognize colour, sound, touch, 
taete and smell as distinct and different, kinds of 
qualities. The Vaisesika classification of qualities into 
twenty-four kinds is guided by these considerations of 
their simplicity or complexity, and reductibility or irre- 
ducibility. The guna? are what the Vaisesikas thought 
to be the simplest, passive qualities of substances. 

3. Action or Karma 1 

Karma or action is physical movement. Like a 

quality, it belongs only to sub- 

Ktro)» or action stance, but is different from both. 

means physical move- . 

meat. A substance is the support of both 

quality and action ; a quality is a 

1 Tarkasahgruha, p. P7 ; Tarkabhata, p. 8ft ; Vaifegiha-sui , 1.1. IT; 
Tarkamrta, p. 30. 


static character of things, but an action is dynamic. 
While a quality is a passive property that does not 
take us beyond the thing it belongs to, action is a 
transitive process by which one thing reaches another. 
So it iB regarded as the independent cause of the 
conjunction and disjunction of things. An action has 
no quality, because the latter belongs only to substance. 
All actions or movements must subsist in limited 
corporeal substances (murtadravya), such a? earth, 
water, light, air and the mind. So there can be no 
action or motion in the all-pervading substances like 
akasa, space, time and the soul. There can be no 
movement of an all-pervading thing because it cannot 
change its position. 

There are five kindB of action or movement, namely, 
utksepana or throwing upward, 
of Action Me 6v * kmds avaksepana or throwing downward, 
« akuncana or contraction, prasarana 

or expansion, and gamana or locomotion. Of these, 
utksepana is the cause of the contact of a body with 
some higher region, e.g. throwing a ball upward. 
Avaksepana is the cause of the contact of a body with 
Bome lower region, e.g. throwing down a ball from a 
house-top. Akuncana is the cause of such closer 
contact of the parts of a body as did not previously 
exist, e.g. clenching the fingers or rolling up a cloth. 
Prasarana is the cause of the destruction of previous 
closer contact among the parts of a body, e.g. opening 
one'B clenched hand. All other kinds of actions are 
denoted by gamana. Such actions as the walking of a 
living animal, going up of flames, etc. are not separate- 
ly classed in so far as they may all be included within 


gamana. AH kinds of actions cannot be perceived. 
The action of the mind (manas) which is an imper- 
ceptible substance does not admit of ordinary perception. 
The actions or movements of perceptible subs- 
tances like earth , water and light can be perceived by 
the senses of sight and touch. 

4. Generality or Sdmamja 

Things of a ceitain class bear a common name be- 
SamSny* is tbe class- cause they possess a common nature. 
e 8 eence or the universal. Men, cows and swans have, severally, 
toinething in common on account of which they bear 
theso general names. Tbe thought of what they have 
in common, iB called a general idea or claps- concept. 
Now the question is: What is it that they have in 
common? Or, what is the something that is common 
in them, and i9 the ground of their being brought 
under one class and called by the same name ? The 
first answer, which is only provisional, is that it is the 
class-essence corresponding to the clasB-concept. The 
Nyaya-VaisVsikas would say that it is their samanya 
or generality. Or, in the words of modern Western 
philosophers, it is the "universal" in them. Hence 
the previous question leads to a second, viz what is 
sUmanya or the universal ? 

There arc three main views of the universal or the 
class-essence in Indian philosophy. 

There are three I n the BuddhUt philosophy we have 
views of the universal : ., _ . ,. ,. r . , ."' ,. 

Th« Bauddha view. tho nommulistic view. At- cording to 

it, the individual (svalaksunn) alone 
is rt'ul and there is no class or universal other than the 
particular objects of experience. The idea of sameness that 
we may have with regard to a number of individuals of a 


certain character is due to their being called by the same 
name. It is oniy the name that is general, and the name 
does not stand for any positive essence that is present in 
all the individuals. It means only that the individuals 
called by one name are different from those to which u 
different name is given. Thus certain animals are called 
cow, not because tbey possess any common essence but 
because they are different from all animals that are not 
cows. So there is no universal but the name with a 
negutive connotation. ' 

The Jainas 2 and the Advaita Vedantins ' adopt the 

conoeptualistic view of the universal. According to them, 

the universal does not stand for any independent entity 

over and above the individuals. On 

Vedi e t J ^ew ,nd H,e the other hand ' Jt i8 C0ll8t5tuk;d °y 
n a view. jj ip essential common attributes of 

all the individuals. So the universal is not separate from 
the individuals, but is identical with them in point of 
existence. The universal and the individual are related by 
way of identity. The universal has existence, not in our 
mind only, but also in the particular objects of experience. 
It does not, howevpr. come to them from outside and is not 
anything like a separate ' essence,' but is only their com- 
mon natqre. 

The Nyaya-Vaisesikas * enunciate the realistic 
theory of the universal. According 

TheNyaya-Vnitoika f them un j verBa ] s are eterna | 


(nitya) entities which are distinct 
from, but inhere in. many individuals (anekanugata). 
There is the same (eka) universal in all the individuals 
of a class. The universal i6 the basis of the notion 
of sameness that we have with regard to all the 

1 Vide Tarkabha^. p. 28 : Six Buddhitt Nyaya Traett, Ch. V. 

3 Vide Outlines of Jainitm, p. 115 : Prameya-hama'a-martanHa, 
Ch. IV. 

3 Vide Paribhaid, Ch. I. 

• Vide Tarkasahgraha, p. 87 : Bhae&pariccheda &nd Muki&vali, 8, 
14, 15 : TarfccbhSfS, p. 28 : Torfcdmfto, Ch. 1 : Padarthadharma.,p. 164. 


individuals of a certain class. It ia because there 
is one common essence present in different individuals 
that they are brought under a class and thought of 
as essentially the same. Thus samanya or the uni- 
versal is a real entity which corresponds to a general 
idea or class-concept in our mind. Some of the modern 
realists * also hold that a 'universal is an eternal 
timeless entity which may be shared by many 
particulars.' They agree further with the Naiyayikaa 
in maintaining that universals do not come under 
txistence (satta). These do not exist in time and 
space, but have being and subsist in subst»nce, 
attribute and action (dravya-guoa-karmavrtti). There 
is no universal subsisting in another universal, because 
there is but one single universal for one class of objects. 
If there are two or more universale in the same class 
of things, then they would exhibit contrary and even 
contradictory natures and we could not classify them 
one way or the other. The same individuals could 
have bee,n men and cows at the same time. 

In respect of their scope or extent, universals may 
be distinguisbed into para or the 

dK"std ma7 i u £ bi S' ,est aQd all-pervading, apara or 
tbree kni'is— para, the lowest, and the parapara or the 

apart and parapara. *■ k 

intermediate. 'Being-hood' is 
the highest universal, since all other universals come 
under it. Jar-uess (ghatatva) as the universal present 
in all jars is apara or the lowest, since it has the most 
limited or the narrowest extent. Substantiality or 

1 Cf. Russell, The Problem* of Philosophy, Ch. IX. 
* Vide Bhifaparieeheda and Mukt&va'i,8, 9 ; WjajfafWdeoti, pp. 80-81. 
Cf. Tarkamtta, Ch. 1. 
85— 1806B 


thinghood fdravyatva) as another universal is parapara 
or intermediate between the highest and the lowest. 
It is para or wider in relation to substances like earth , 
water, etc., and apara or narrower in relation to the 
universal 'being-hood' which belongs to substance, 
quality and action. 

6. Particularity or Viiesa ' 

Particularity (visesa) is the extreme opposite of the 
^ universal (samanya). By parti- 

Partiouhmty is the * , 

unique individuality of culanty we are to understand the 

the eternal substances. • j- -j i-i < L . 

unique individuality of substances 
which have no parts and are, therefore, eternal, such as 
space, time, akaia, minds, souls and the atoms of 
earth, water, light and air. How are we to distinguish 
one mind or soul from another ? How again is one 
atom of water distinguished from another atom of 
water ? That they are different from one another 
must be admitted by us. Yet we cannot explain it by 
the difference of their parts, because they have no 
parts at all. On the other hand, they are' similar 
in other respects. So we have to admit some peculia- 
rity or unique character whereby they are distinguished 
from one another. The category of visesa stands 
for this peculiar character of the otherwise indistin- 
guishable substances. 

As subsisting in the eternal substances, visesa e are 
. . themselves eternal (nitva). We 

Particularities are J 

eternal and distin- should not suppose that visesa per- 

gaisbed by themselves. ... j- ., ■ "*,. 

tains to the ordinary things of the 

1 Vide Tarkatahgraha, pp. 11, 88; DhUfipariccheda and Mukti- 
•all, 10; TarkabhSfi, p. 28; Tarleimrta, Ch. I; Padirthadhartna , 
p. 168. 


world like pots, chairs and tables. It does not belong 
to anything made up of parts. Things which are made 
up of parts, i. e. composite wholes, are easily distin- 
guishable by the differences of their parts. 80 we do 
not require any category like vi£esa to explain their 
distinction. It is only when we come to the ultimate 
differences of the partless eternal substances that we 
have to admit certain original or underived peculiarities 
called vifesas. There are innumerable particularities, 
since the individuals in which they subsist are innu- 
merable. While the individuals are distinguished by 
their particularities, the latter are distinguished by 
themselves (Bvatab) Hence particularities are so 
many ultimates (antya) in the analysis and explanation 
of the differences of things. There cannot be any 
perception of them ; like atoms, thqy are supersensible 

6. Inherence or Samavaya ' 

There are two main relations recognized in the 

Nyaya-Vaisesika philosophy. These 

y X^t y theTw d o"at are samyoga or conjunction and 

rations iu the Nyaya- Bama vaya or inherence. Coniunc- 

VaiJeeilN system. ' ' 

tion is a temporary or non-eternal 
relation between two things which can, and usually do, 
exist in separation from each other. Two balls moving 
from opposite directions meet at a certain place. The 
relation which holds between them when they meet is 
one of conjunction. It is a temporary contact between 

1 Tarkusahyraha, p. b8 ; Tarhabkifi, p. 2 ; Padarthadharma , pp. 
171-75; Bh &(iparicchcda tod Muktarali, 11, 60 


two substances which may again be separated and yet 
exist (yutasiddha) . So bag as the relation of conjunc- 
tion is, it exists as a quality of the terms related by it. 
Bat it does not affect the existence of those terms. It 
makes no difference to the existence of the balls 
whether they are conjoined to each other or not. Thus 
conjunction is an external relation which exists as an 
accidental quality of two substances related by it. 

As distinguished from conjunction, samavaya is a 

• ,. permanent or eternal relation be- 

How toe two are dis- r 
tingoiBbed from each tween two entities, of which one 

inheres in the other. The whole is 
in its parte, a quality or an action is in a substance, or 
the universal is in the individuals, and particularity is 
in some simple eternal substance. Thus we say that the 
cloth as a whole isdn the threads, the colour red as a 
quality is in the rose, motion as an action belongs to 
the moving ball, manhood as a universal if. in indivi- 
dual men, and the peculiarity or the distinctive 
character of one mind or soul is in that mind or 

Conjunction is a temporary relation between two 
things which can exist separately, and it is produced 
by the action of either or both of the things related, 
e.g. the relation between a man and the chair on 
which he may be Beated for the time being- On the 
other hand, the whole is always related to its parts, a 
quality or an action is always related to some substance, 
and so forth. So long as any whole, say a jar, i*6 not 
broken up, it must exist in the parts. So also, any 
quality or action must be related to some substance as 
long as it exists. Thus we see that the relation of a 


whole (o its parts, of sny quality or action to its 
substance, of the universal to the individual, and of 
particularity to the eternal substances is not produced or 
brought about by any external cause. Hence it is that 
they are* said to be inseparably related (ayutasiddha). 
Satuavaya is this eternal relation between any two 
entities, one of which cannot exist without the other. 
Terms related by sarnavaya cannot be reverted like 
those related by samyoga. If there is a contact of the 
hand with a pen, the pen also must uc in contact with 
the hand ; but though a quality is in a substance, the 
substance is not in the quality. 

7 Xoti-cristtnce or Abhfiva 

We have dealt with the six positive categories above. 

.... . .. .. Now we come to the negative cate- 

Abbava is the seventh ° 

category. gory of abhava or non-existence, 

which does not come under any of the six categories. 
The re'ality of non-existence cannot be denied. Looking 
at the sky at night you feel as much sure of the non- 
existence of the sun there, as of the existence of the 
moon and the start. The Vaifesika recognizes, there- 
fore, non-existence as the seventh category of reality. 
It is true that Kanada did not mention abhava as a 
separate category in the enumeration of the ultimate 
objects of knowledge (pad art ha). Hence 6ome people 
think that he was in favour of accepting only sis cate- 
gories. But in view of the facts that non-existence as 
a possible object of knowledge has been discussed in 
other parts of the Vaiiesika-SiitTa and that Prafostapada, 
the most authoritative exponent of the Vaise$ika 


philosophy, haB treated it as the seventh category, we 

propose to consider it as such. * 

Abhava or non-existence is of two kinds, namely, 
samsargabhava and anyonyabhava. 

kin<ufw«. IS 8 ari. f sarS° Samsargabbava means the* absence 

bhivt *" d * nyon,i " of something in something else. 
Anyonyabhava means the fact that 

one thing is not another thing. Samsargabhava is of 
three kinds, namely, pragabhava, 

kJd, e "thefirBt. ,bree dhvamsabhava and atyantabhava. • 
All kinds of samsargabhava can be 

expressed by a judgment of the general form ' S is not 

in P,* whereas anyonyabhava can be expressed by a 

judgment like ' S is not P.* 

Pragabhava or antecedent non-existence is the non- 
existence of a thing before its 
Pr&gabbava is non- production. When one says 'a 

existence before pro- , ... . . , lx ,,, , . , , 

anotion. house will be built with bricks, 

there is non-existence of the house 
in the bricks. This non-existence of a house in the 
bricks before its construction is pragabhava. It means 
the absence of a connection between the bricks and 
the house which has not yet been built with them. The 
house never existed before being built, so that its non- 
existence before construction has no beginning (anadi), 
When, however, the house is built, its previous non- 
existence comes to an end (anta) . Hence it is that 
pragabhava is said to be without a beginning, but 
having an end (anadi and santa). 

1 Vide VoUefikasui., 1.1.4, 9.1.1-10. 

* Bhafipariccheda and MuktSrall, 13; Tarkabhata, p. 2'); Torka- 
ta*graha,i>. 89; TVfrdmrfo Ch. I. 


Dhvamsabhava is the non-existence of a thing on 

account of its destruction after pro- 

Dhvaifasftbhftva is duction. A jar which has been 

non-existence after 

destruction. produced by a potter may be subse- 

quently broken into pieces. When 
the jar is broken into pieces, there is its non-existence 
in those pieces. This non-existence of a previously 
existing thing, doe to its destruction, is called 
dhvamsabhava. It is paid to have a beginning (sadi), 
but no end (ananta). The non-existence of the jar 
begins with its destruction, but it cannot be ended in 
any way, for the very same jar cannot be brought back 
into existence. It will be seen here that although in 
the case of positive entities (bhava padartha), the 
general rule is that, whatever is produced must be 
destroyed, in the case of negative entities (abbava 
padartha), something which is produced cannot be 
destroyed. The non-existence of the jar is produced by 
its destruction, but that non-existence cannot itseif be 
destroyed. To destroy or end the jar's non-existence, 
we are to restore the same jar to existence, which is 

Atyantabhava or absolute non-existence is the 
absence of a connection between two 

JS^EtSuJZ thiQ g 8 for a11 time-past, present 
in tbe past, present an ^ f u t U re, e.g. the non-existence of 

and future. ' 

colour in air. It is thus different 

from pragabhava and dhvamsabhava. Pragabhava is tbe 
non-existence of a thing before its production. Dhvam- 
sabhava is the non-existence of a thing after its destruc- 
tion. But atyantabhava is the non existence of a thing, 
not in any particular time, but for all time. So it is 


subject neither to origin nor to cessation, i.e. it is both 
beginningless and endless (anadi and ananta). 

While samsargabhava is the abseDce of a connec- 
tion between two things, anyonya- 
AnyonyabhSva fan- bhava underlies the difference 

plies the difference of ,. , , . „ ... , ' ,, 

one thing from another, (bheda) of one thing from another 

thing. When one thing is different 
from another thing, they mutually exclude each other 
and there is the non-existence of either as the other. A 
table is different from a chair. This means that a 
table does not exist as a chair, or, more simply, a table 
is not a chair. Anyonyabhava is this non-existence of 
one thing as another, from which it is different. Thus 
samsargabhava is the absence of a connection (saihsarga) 
between two entities, and its opposite is ju«t their 
connection. On the other hand, anyonyabhava is ths 
absence of one thing as another, and its opposite is just 
their sameness or identity. Take the followiug illus- 
trations. ' A hare has no horn,' ' there is no colour in 
air ' are propositions which express the absence of a 
connection between a hare and a horn, between colour 
and air. The opposite of these will be the proposi- 
tions ' a hare has horn*,' ' theve \s co\out in a\r.' ' K 
cow is not a horse,' ' a jar is not a cloth * are proposi- 
tions which express the difference between a cow and a 
horse, a jar and a clotb. The opposite of these will 
be the propositions 'a cow ia a horse,' 'a jar is a cloth.' 
Thu6 we may say that samsargabhava is relative non- 
existence in the sense of a negation of the con- 
nection or relation (sarhsarga) between any two objects, 
while anyonyabhava is mutual non-existence or differ- 
ence in* the sense of a negation of the identity 

the vaiSesika philosophy 281 

(tadatmya) between two objects. Like atyantabhava or 
absolute non-existence, anyonyabhava or mutual non- 
existence is without a beginning and an end, i.e. is 

III. The Creation and Destruction 
of the World 1 

From the standpoint of Indian philosophj' the world 

including physical nature is a moral 

The Vaitofika theory stage for the education and emancipa- 

b f * the W °enera.l ^'tri tion ° £ mdividual BOul8 - The VaiSesika 
tnal outffof lSdUn theor y ol the worId is g uided b >' this 
philosophy. general spiritual outlook of Indian 

philosophy. /In its attempt to explain 
the origin and destruction of the world, it does indeed 
reduce all composite objects to the four kinds of atoms of 
earth, water, fire and air. So it is sometimes characterized 
as the atomic theory of the world. B ( ui it does not ignore 
the moral and spiritual principles governing the processes 
of composition and decomposition of atoms. Further, 
five of the nine kinds of substances, to which all things 
may be reduced, are not and cannot be reduced to 
materia] atoms. So the atomic theory of the Vaisesika has 
a background different from that of 
It is diBeient from the atomism of Western science and 
the Aiomum oi Wwt- philosophy. The latter is in principle 
«tn vhilowpky . a materialistic philosophy of the world. 

It explains the order and history of 
the world as the mechanical resultant of the fortuitous 
motions of innumerable atoms in infinite space and time, 
and in different directions. There is no mind or intelli- 
gent power governing and guiding the operations of the 
matt-rial atoms < these act according to blind mechanical 
laws. The atomism of the Vaisesika, however, is a phase 
of their spiritual philosophy. According to it, the ultimate 
source of the actions of atoms is to be found in the 

• Vide Padarthadharina, pp. 19-33; S'yayakandali, pp. 50-54; 
KusumMjali, 2 ; Tattvacintima^i, ii. 


creative or the destructive will of the Supreme Being who 
directs the operations of atoms according to the unseen 
deserts (adreta) of individual souls and with reference to the 
end of moral dispensations/On this view, the order of 
the world is like that of a monarchical state, which 
ultimately expresses the will of a wise monarch and in 
which all things are so ordered and adjusted that the 
citizens get ample opportunities for self-expansion and 
self'development as free and responsible beings. 

'The atomic theory of the Vaisesika explains that part 
of the world which is non-eternal, i.e. 
The atomic theory subject to origin and destruction in 
of the V»i4e?ita ex- time. The eternal constituents of 
plains the order of fche uiuverge name l v t ho four kinds 
creation and destruc- ' •" , 

tion of non-eternal oi atoms, and the five substances of 
objects. akaiu, space, lime, mind, and soul, 

do not come within the purview of 
their atomic theory, because these can neither be created 
nor destroyed. On the other hand, all composite objects, 
beginning with a dyad or the first compound of only two 
atoms (dvyanuka), ar,e non-eternal. So the atomic theory 
explains the order of creation and destruction of these non- 
eternal objects. All composite objects are constituted by 
the combination of atoms and destroyed through their 
separation. The first combination of two atoms id cailed 
a dvyanuka or dyad, and a combination of three dyads 
(dvyanukas) is called a tryanuka or triad. The tryanuka is 
also called the trasarenu, and it is the minimum perceptible 
object according to the Vaisesika philosophy. The purum- 
anu or atom and the dvyanuka or dyad, being smaller 
than the tryanuka or triad, cannot be perceived, but are 
known through inferencey 

All the finite objects of the physical world and the 

physical world itself are composed of 
The world is com- the four u dg f t . th f 

posed of the four kinds , , , . , j .7 , 

ctfatoms. of dyads, triads and other larger 

compounds arising out of these. How 
can we account for the action or motion of atoms, which 
is necessary for their combination ? How, again, are we 
to explain this particular order and arrangement of things 
in the world ? In the Vaisesika philosophy the order of the 
world is, in its broad outlines, conceived like this : The 


world, or better, the universe is a system of physical 

things end living beings having bodies 

It is a system of with senses and possessing mind, in- 

physical things and tel]ect and ego j Bm All these exist 

ini«ot " with* rae ™d interact with one another in 
another. time, space' and akagn. Living beings 

are souls who enjoy or suffer in this 
world according as they are wise or ignorant, good or bad, 
virtuous or vicious. The order of the world is, on the 
whole, a moral order in which the 
The moral order of life and destiny of all individual selves 
the world. are governed, not only by the physi- 

cal laws of time and space, but also 
by the universal moral law of karma. In the simplest form 
this law means 'as you sow, so you reap,' just as the phy- 
sical law of causation, in its most abstract form, means 
that there can be no effect without n cause. 

Kerping in view this moral order of tho universe, the 

Vaisesikas explain the process of 
Tho creation of thp creation and destruction of the world 
world has its starting ,, 8 fo] [ owg .yf> he s t ar tJ D g-point of the 
point in the creative _ . ,. °/ , .. 

will of tbr Supreme Process of creation or destruction is 
Lord. the will of the Sdpreme Lord (Mahes- 

vara) who is the rulor of the whole 
uni\erse. The Lord conceives the will to create* a universe 
in which individual beings may get their proper share of 
the experience of pleasure and pain according to their 
deserts.* The process of creation and destruction of the 
world being beginningless (anodi), we cannot speak of a 
first creation of the world. In truth, every creation is 
preceded by a state of destruction, and every destruction 
is preceded by some order of creation. To create is to 
destroy an existing order of things and uBher in a new 
order. Hence it is that Hod's creative will has reference 

to the stock of merit and demerit 
The adrtfa of iodi- ( a d rB ta) acquired by individual souls 
vidua sou a cuides tlic ■ " • v* i- j • x-l 

pn«.s of citation. » » previous hie lived in some other 

world. when God thus wills to 
create a world, the unseen forces of moral deserts in the 
eternal individual souls begin to function in the direction 
of creation and the active life of experiences (bhoga). And, 
it is the contact with souls, endowed with the creative 
function of adrsta, that first sets in motion the atoms of 
air. Out of the combination of air-atoms, in the form of 
dyads and triads, arises the gross physical element (maha- 


bbuta) of air, and it exists as an incessantly vibrating 
medium in the eternal akiisa. Then, in a similar way, 
there is motion in the atoms of water and the creation of 
the gross element of water which exists in the air and is 
moved by it. Next, the atoms of earth are set in motion 
in a similar way and compose the gross element of earth 
which exists in the vast expanse of the gross elemental 
water. Then from the atoms of light arises, in a similar 
way, the gross element of light and exists with its lumino- 
sity in the gross water. After this and by the mere 
thought (abhidhyana) of God, there appears the embryo of 
a world (brahmanda) out of the atoms 
Brahma in the archi- of light and earth. God animates that 
tect of the world. great embryo with Brahma, the world- 

soul, who is endowed with supreme 
wisdom, detachment and excellence (jntina, vairiigya and 
aisVaryya). To Brahma God entrusts the work of creation 
in its concrete details and with proper adjustment between 
merit and demerit, on the one hand, and happiness and 
misery, on the other. 

The created world runs its course for many years. But 

it cannot continue to exist and endure 

Creation ie followrd for all time to come. Just as after 

by destruction. the stress and strain oi the day's work 

God allows us rest at night, so after 
the trials and tribulations of many lives in one created 
world, God provides a way of escape from suffering for 
all living beings for some time. This is done by Him 
through the destruction of the world. So the period of 
creation is followed by a state of destruction. The theory 

of cycles (kalpa) or alternating periods 

The theory of cycle. of creat j n and destruction is accepted 

of creation and de- L . . .■> ,, , . r , 

struction. "7 *nost of the orthodox systems of 

Indian philosophy. The belief that 
the world in which we live is not eternal, and that at some 
distant time there shall be its dissolution, is supported by 
an analogical argument. Just as earthen substances like 
jars are destroyed, so mountains which ere earthy shall 
be destroyed. Ponds and tanks are dried up. Seas and 
oceans being only very big reservoirs of water shall dry up. 
The light of a lamp is blown out. The sun being but a 
glorious orb of light must be extinguished at some distant 


The process of (he world's dissolution is as follows: 
When ir the course of time Brahma, 

T £® P I?? M ? the the world-soul, gives up his body like 
world's destruction is ., . ' ' 6 r . m.-l.-* 

started by the de- °*" er souls, there appears m Mahes- 
■troctive will of God vara or the Supreme Lord a desire 
to destroy the world. With this, the 
creative adrsta or unseen moral agency in living beings is 
counteracted by the corresponding destructive adrsta and 
ceases to function for the active life of experience. It is 
in contact with such souls, in which the destructive adrsta 
begins to operate, that there is motion in the constituent 
atoms of their body and senses. On account of this motion 
there is disjunction of the atoms and consequent disinte- 
gration of the body and the senses. The body with the 
senses being thus destroyed, what remain are only the 
atoms in their isolation. So also, there is motion in the 
constituent atoms of the elemental earth, and its conse- 
quent destruction through the cessation of their conjunction. 
In this way there is the destruction of the physical elements 
of earth, water, light and air, one after the other. Thus 
these four physical elements and all bodies and sense 
orgsns are disintegrated and destroyed. What remain are 
the four kinds of atoms of earth, water, light and air in 
their isolation, and the eternal substances of fikaiSa, 
time, space, minds and souls with their stotik of merit, 
demerit and past impressions (bhavana). It will be 
observed here that while in the order of destruction, 
earth compounds i-ome first, and then those of water, 
light and air in succession, in the order of creation 
air compounds come first, water compounds next, and 
then those of the great earth and light appear in 

IV. Conclusion 

Like the Nyaya system, the Vaisesika is a realistic 
philosophy which combines pluralism with theism. 
It traces the variety of the objects of the world to the 
combination of material atoms of different kinds and 

1 The details of this account of creation and destruction are found 
in Prasaitapada's Padarlhadharmasohgraha whioh seems to draw on 
the Psuranifca accounts. 


qualities. But the creation of the world out of the 
combination of eternal atoms, in eternal time and 
space, has reference to the moral life of individual 
selves. The world is created and destroyed by God 
according to the moral deserts of individual souls 
and for the proper realization of their moral destiny. 
But the realistic idea of the soul and the apparently 
deistic conception of God in the Vaifesika labour under 
the difficulties of the Nyaya theory and are a3 unsatis- 
factory as the latter. For it, the soul is an independent 
substance, of which consciousness is an accidental 
property. It may be admitted by us that .the mind or 
the empirical consciousness is not the real self and that 
the latter is different from the former. Still it is not 
possible for us to explain mental phenomeua or the 
empirical consciousness unless we admit that the real or 
the noumenal self is an essentially conscious and 
intelligent reality. So also the Vais"esika idea of God as 
wholly transcendent to and separate from man and the 
world, is not favourable for a deeply religious view of 
life and the genuine religious consciousness of commu- 
nion with Godj/The special contribution of the Vaisesika 
philosophy is the classification of realities and its atomic 
cosmology. It recognizes the distinction between posi- 
tive and negative facts, both of which are said to be 
equally real and objective. Among positive facts, again, 
a distinction is made between those that exist in time 
and space, and those which do not possess such ex- 
istence. Substance, quality and action are positive and 
existent realities. Generality, particularity and inher- 
ence are positive facts indeed, but these do not exist as 
particular things or qualities or physical movements in 


time and space. But the Vaisesika division of reals 
into seven classes and of these into many other sub- 
classes is more a common-sense and empirical view of 
things than a philosophical classification of realities. 
From the latter standpoint a more fundamental distinc- 
tiou would be that between the soul and the non-soul 
fas iu the Jaiua system), or spirit and matter (as in 
the Sankbya). The atomic theory of the Vaiiesika is 
an improvement on the ordinary view of the world as 
constituted by the physical elements c f earth, water, 
air and fire. It is also an advance on the materialistic 
theory that all things including life, mind and conscious- 
ness are transformations and mechanical products of 
material atoms. The Vaisesikas harmonize the atomic 
theory with the moral and spiritual outlook of life and 
the theistic faith in God as the creator and moral gov- 
ernor of the world. But they do not carry their theism 
far enough and make God the author not on/y of the 
order of nature but also of its ultimate constituents, 
wis. the atoms, minds and souls, and see God at the 
heart of all reality. 




Krenanatha Nyayapafica,-... Taitvakaumndi (Calcutta). 

Kalivara Vedantavagifo ... Sdnkhya-sutra (with Ani- 

ruddba's Vrtti, Calcutta). 
S. S. Suryanarayana Sastri The Sdrixkhya Kdrikd of 

hvara Krsna (Eng. trans. 
Madras University). 
. . . Sankhya-pravacana'bhasya 
(Chowkhamba, Bena- 
... Sarva-dariana-sangraha , 

Ch. on Saiikhya. 
... The Sdthkhya Philosophy. 

... Indian Philosophy Vol. 
IT, Ch. IV. 

... History of Indian Philo- 
sophy, Vol. I, Cb. VII. 

... The Sdmkhya System. 

... The Saiikhya Conception 
of Personality (Calcutta 

R. G. Bhatta 


Nandalal Smha ' 
S. Radha.kiishnan 

S. N. Dasgupta 

A. B. Keith 

A. K. Majumdar 

I. Introduction 

The Sankhya system it* the work of a great sage of 
,_. „.... . the name of Kapila. The Sankhya 

The Sarikija system J 

■a the work of the must be a very old system of 

great sane Kapila. it . ^ Ti - -. r- 

thought. Its antiquity appears 
from the fact that the Sankhya tendency of thought 
pervades all the literature of ancient India including the 
drutis. smrtis and puriinas. According to tradition, the 
first work of the Sankhya school is_ _the Sart khya-sutra 
<if Kajjila. Thia bein» very brief and terse, Kapila, we 
are told, wrote an elaborate work entitled the Sdtikhya- 
pravacana-sutra . Hence the Sankhya philosophy is 
also known as Sankhyapravacana. This system is 
sometimes described as the ' atheistic Sankhya ' 
(nirlsvara-sankhya), as distinguished from the Yoga 
which is called the 'theistic Sankhya' (eesVara-sankhya). 
The reason for this is that Kapila did not admit the 
existence of God and also thought that God's existence 
could not be proved. But thie is a controversial 

Next to Kapila, his disciple Ssuri. and Xsuri's 

Some important disciple Pafieasikha wrote some 

work, of th«8aAkbya. bookb wn j ch aimed at a clear and 

elaborate exposition of the Sankhya system. But 
these works were lost in courBe of time and we 
have no information about their contents. Tsvarakrsna's 


Sdnkhya-karika is the earliest available arid authorita- 
tive text-book of the Sankhya. G-audapada's Sankhya- 
karika-bhasya, Vacaspati's Tattvakaumudi and Vijfiina- 
bhiksu's Sdnkhya-pravacana-bhdsya and Sankhya-sara 
are Bome other important works of the Sankhya 

The origin of the name ' sankhya ' is shrouded in 
_ .... mystery. According to some think- 

■■explained in differ- ers, the name 'sankhya' is an 
w * ,i- adaptation from 'sankhya' meaning 

number, and has been applied to this philosophy 
because it aims at a right knowledge of reality by the 
enumeration of the ultimate objects of knowledge. 
A more plausible explanation is that the word 'sankhya' 
means perfect knowledge (samyag-jMna), and a pbUb- 
sopEy in which we have such knowledge is justly 
named sankhya. Like the Nyaya-Vaisesika system, 
tbe Sankhya aims at the knowledge of reality for the 
practical purpose of putting an end to all pain and 
suffering. It gives us a knowledge of the self 'which is 
clearly higher than that given by the other systems, 
excepting perhaps tbe Vedanta. So it may very well 
be characterized as the 'sankhya' in tbe sense of a pure 
metaphysical knowledge of the self. It is_ametaphy- 
sicof dualistic realism. "While the Nyaya ancTthe 
Vaieesik a admi trthe ultimate reality of many entities — 
atoms, mind6 and souls — the Sankhya recognizes only 
■Owo kinds of ultimate realities, namely, spirit and 
matter (purusa and prakrti) . The nature of these two 
ultimate and other derivative realities will be con- 
sidered in the Snnkhya metaphysics. 


the siSkhva philosophy 293 

II. The SiSkhya Metaphysics 

1. Theorg oj Causation 1 

The Sankhya Metapbyeics, especially its doctrine 

of prakrti, rests mainly on its theory of causation 

which is known a s sa tkarya-vada . It is a theory at- 

to the relation of an effect to its material cause. The 

specific question discussed here is this : Does an effect 

originally exist in the material cause prior to its pro- 

„, „ ., duct ion, i.e. anpearance as an 

Th« Banddha and 

the NjSya-v»i^Bika effect ? The Bauddbas and the 

theory of causation. „ . ,. ., ., ,,. 

Tsyaya-vaisesikas answer this 
question in the negative. According to them, the 
effect cannot be said to exist before it is produced by 
some cause. j If the effect already existed in the 

.materia) c&uBe prior to its production, there is no sense 
in our speaking of it as being caused or produced in 
any way. ^Further, we cannot explain why the 
activity of any efficient cause is necessary for the 
production of the effect. If the pot already existed 

''in the clay, why should the potter exert himself and 
use his implements to produce it ^J> Moreover, if the 
effect were already in its material cause, it would 
logically follow that the effect is indistinguishable 
from the cause, and that we should use the same name 
for both the pot and the clay, and also that the same 
purpose would be served by a pot and a lump of clay. 
It cannot be said that there is a distinction of form 
between the effect and its material cause, for then 
we have to admit that there is something in the 

1 Vidt Sdhkhya-k&riku tad Tattrakattmudl, 8-9; Sankhya-prava- 
canabhafya. 1. 113-21 ; Aniruddba'« Vftti, 1. 113-31. 


effect which is not to be found in its cause and, there- 
fore, the effect does not really exist in the cause. This 
theory that the effect does not exist in the material 
cause prior to its production is known as asatkiirya-vada 
[i.e. the view that the karya or the effect is asat or 
non-existent before its production). It is also called 
arambha-vada, i.e. the theory of the beginning of the 
effect anew. 

The Sankhyas repudiate this theory of causation 
_, t , lt and establish their view of sat- 

l'he Sankhya theory 

of satkarya-vMa and karya-viida, namely that the effect 
gronn s. exi sts in the material cause even 

before it is produced. This view is based on the 
following grounds : (a) If the effect were really non- 
existent in the materia! cause, then no amount of 
effort on the part of any agent could bring it into 
existence. Can any man turn blue into red, or sugar 
into salt ? Hence, when an effect is produced from 
some material cause, we are to say that it pre-exists 
in the cause and is only manifested by certaii> favour - 
able condition s, as when oil is produced by pressing 
seeds. The activity of efficient causes, like the potter 
and his tools, is necessary lo manifest the effect, pot, 
which exists implicitly in the clay, (b) There is an 
invariable relation between a material cause and its 
effect. A material cause can produce only that effect 
with which it is causally related. It cannot produce 
an effect which is in no way related to it. But it 
cannot be related to what does not exist. Hence the 
effect must exist in the material cause before it is 
actually produced, (c) We see that only certain effects 
v can be produced from certain causes. Curd can be 

THE siAkhya philosophy 295 

got only out of milk and a cloth only out of threads. 
This shows that the effect somehow exists in the cause. 
Had it not been so, any effect could be produced from 
any cause ; the potter would not have taken clay to 
produce pots, instead of taking milk or threads or any 
other thin^. id) The fact that only a potent cause 
can produce a desired effect goes to show that the 
effett must be potentially contained in the cause. 
The potent cause of an effect is that which possesses 
some power that is definitely relatui to the effect. 
But the power cannot be related fo the effect, if the 
lattei does not exitt in some form. This means that 
the effect exists in the cause in an unmumfeattd form 
before its production or manifestation, (c) If the 
effect be really non-existent in the cause, then we have < 
to sa\ that, when 1! is produced, the non-existent 
comes into existence, i.e. something conies out of 
nothing, which is* absurd. t/> Lastly, we see that the 
effect is not different from, hut essentially identical 
with, the material cause. If, theiefore, the cause 
exists, the effect also mutt exist. Jn fact, the 
effect and the cause are the explicit and implici t 
Rtntffi of thn sanift jMihgtHiif 1 ' A cloth is not really 
different from the threads, of which it is made ; a 
statue is the Bame as its material cause, stone, with 
a new shape and form : the weight of a table is tbp 
same as that of the pieces of wood used in it. The 
conclusion drawn by the Sunkhya from all this is that 
the effcet exists in the material cause even befo re its 
production or appearance. This iB the theory of 
satkarya-vada (i.e. the view that the effect is existent 
beforelfs appearance). 



The theory of satkarya-vuda has got two different forms, 
namely, parinama-va da and vivarta - 
Two different forms vftda. According fo the former, 
of sstkarya-vada. wben an effect ib produced, there is 

a real transformation (parinama) of 
the cause into the effect, e.g. the production of a pot from 
clay, or of curd from milk. The Sinkhya is in favour of 
this view as a further specification of the theory of 
satkarya-vuda. The second, which is accepted by the 
Advaita Vedantins, holds that the change of the cause 
into the effect is merely apparent. When we see a snake 
in a rope, it is not the case that the rope is really trans- 
formed into a snake ; what happens is that the rope only 
appears as, but is not really, a snake. So also, God or 
Brahman does not become really transformed into tbt:> 
world produced by Him, but remains identically the same, 
while we may wrongly think that He undergoes change 
and becomes the world. 

2. Prakrti and the Gurias ' 

The Sankbya theory that causation means a real 
transformation of the material cause 

Prakrti is the ulti- 
mate cause • of the into the effect logically leads to the 

wor o jec ». concept of prakrti as the ultimate 

cause of the world of objects. All objects of the world, 
including our body and mind , the senses and the 
intellect, are limited and dependent things produced 
by the combination of certain elements. So we see 
that the world is a series of effects and that it must 
have a cause. What, then, is the cause of the world ?• 
It cannot be the purusa o r the self, since the self is 
neither a cause nor an effect of any thing. So the cause 
of the world must be the not-self, i.e. some principle 
which is other than and different from spirit, 6elf or 
consciousness. Can this not-self be the physical 

1 Vide Kiriki and Kaumudi, 3, 10-16; Praeacana-bhfttya and 
VfUi, 1.110, 1.183-87. 


elements or the material atoms ? According to the 
Carvakas or the materialists, the Bauddbas, the Jainas 
and the Nyaya-Vaisesikas, the atoms of earth, water, 
light and air are the material causes of the objects of 
the world. The Sankbya demurs to this on the 
ground that material atoms cannot explain the origin 
of the subtle products of nature, such as the mind, 
tbe intellect and the ego. So we must seek for some- 
thing which can explain tbe gross objects of nature 
like earth and water, treeB and seas, as well as its 
'subtle pro ducts . Now it is a general rule that the 
cause is subtler tban tbe effect aDd that it pervades 
the effect. Hence the ultimate cause of tbe world 
must be some unintelligent or unconscious principle 
which is uncaused, eternal and all-pervading, very 
line and always ready to produce the world of objects. 
This is the prakrti of tbe Sankbya system. It h> tbe 
first cause of all things and, therefore, has itself no 
caute. As tbe uncaused root-cause of all objects it 
is eternal and ubiquitous, because nothing that is 
limited and non-eternal can be the first cause of the 
world. Being tbe ground of such subtle products of 
nature as mind and the intellect, prakrti is a very 
/subtle, mysterious and tremendous power which evolves 
and dissolves the world in a cyclic order. 

The existence of prakrti as tbe ultimate subtle cause 
of tbe world is known by inference 

en£ r tf prIS?r« * ****' from the followin fc' grounds: {a) 
AH particular objects of tbe world, 
from tbe intellect to tbe earth, are limited and dependent 
on one another. So there must be an ud limited 
and independent cause for their existence, (b) Things 



of the world possess certain common characters, owing 
, to which every one of them is capable of producing 
pleasure, pain and indifference. Therefore, they must 
have a common cause having these three characters. 
(c) All effects proceed from the activity of some cause 
which contains their potentiality within it. The world 
of objects which are effects must, therefore, be implicit- 
ly contained in some world-cause, {d) An effect arises 
from its cause and is again resolved into it at the 
moment of its destruction. That is, an existent effect 
is manifested by a cause, and eventually it is re-absorbed 
into the latter. So the particular objects of experience 
muBt arise from their particular causes, and these again 
from other general causes, and so on, till we come to 
the first cause of the world. Contrariwise, at the time 
of destruction, the physical elements must be resolved 
into atoms, the atoms into energies and soon, till all 
products are resolved into the unmauifested, eternal 
prakrti. Thus we get one unlimited and unconditioned, 
all-pervading and ultimate cause, of the whole world 
including everything but the self. This is the eternal 
and undifferentiated causal matrix of the world of noi- 
self, to which the Sankhya gives the different names 
of prakrti, pradhuna, avyakta, etc. We should not 
imagine a cause of this ultimate cause, for that will 
land us in the fallacy o f infinite regress . H there be 
a cause of prakrti, then there mubt be a cause of that 
v^ause, aDd so on, ad infinitum. Or, if we stop anywhere 
and say that here is the fifst cause, then that first cause 
will be the prakrti which is specifically described as the 
supreme root cause of the world (par a, or mula prakrt i). 1 

» Vide Prceacona-bMf ya, 1 . 67-68, 1. 76-77, 6.86, 

the sxSkhya philosophy 299 

PrakrtHs constituted by the three gunas of . 6afct«a, 
rajas and tatnas. ft is said to be 

*£2?iZ?3& the uni *y of the gunas held in a 
«»ftv», raj»» and state of equilibrium (samyavastha). 
# Now the question is: What are 

these gunas ? Guna here means a constituent element 
or component and not an attribute or quality. Hence 
by the gunas of sattva, rajas and tanias we are to under- 
stand the elements of the ultimate substance called 
prakrti. The reason why they are called gunas is either 
their being subservient to the ends of the purusa which 
is other than themselves, or their being intertwined 
like the th ree strands o f a rope which binds the soul to_ 
the world.. 1 

The gunas are not perceived by us. Tbey are 
i-roofs for the «„.t. in ferred from the object s~"oTlK e' 
et.w of guga*. world which ar e their effec ts. Since 

there is an essential identity (tiidatmya) • between 
the effect and its cause, we know the nature of 
the gunas from the nature of their products. All 
objects of the world , from the intellect dosvn to the 
ordinary objects of perception (e.g. tables, pots, etc.), 
are found to possess three characters capable of produc- 
ing pleasure, pain and indifference, respectively. The 
same things are pleasurable to some person, painful to 
another, and neutral to a third. The cuckoo's cry is a 
pleasure to the artist, a pain to his sick friend and 
neither to the plain rustic. A rose delights the youth, 
dejects the dying man and leaves the gardener cold and 
indifferent. Victory in war elates the victor, depresses 

1 Op. eU., 1. 65. Th« word gu$a has many senses, such aa 
' quality,' 'strand,' ' subservient.' 


the vanquished and leaves the third party rather apathe- 
tic. JStm, as the cause must contain what is in the\ 
effect, we can infer that the. ultimate cause pfjhings \ 
must have been constituted also by the three elements 
of pleasure, pain and indifference. The Sankhya calls 
these three sattva, rajas and tamas respectively. These 
are constitutive of both prakrtj, the ultimate substance, 
and the ordinary objects of the world. 

Sattva is that element of prakiti which is of the 

nature of pleasure, and is buoyant 

J£5+JL$* orli & ht dagnu), and bright or ilia- 

i» light .nd iiinwinat- m j na ting (prakaiaka). The mani- 

festation of objects in conscious- 
ness (jfiana), the tendency towards conscious manifesta- 
tion in the senses, the mind and the intellect, the 
luminosity of ligh»t, and the power of reflection in a 
mirror or the crystal are all due to the operation of the 
element 6f sattva in the constitution of things. Simi- 
larly, all sorts of lightness in the sense of upward 
motion, like the blazing up of fire, the upward course 
of vapour and the winding motion of air, are induced 
in things by the element oi sattva. So also pleasure 
in its various forms, such as satisfaction, joy, happi- 
ness, bliss, contentment, etc. is produced by things in 
our minds through the operation of the power of sattva 
inhering in them both. 

Rajas is the principle of activity in thingB. It always 

moves and makes nther things move. 

Eajai is of the nature That is, it is both mobile (cala) and 

and stimulating. stimulating (upastambhaka). It is 

on account of rajas that fire spreads, 

the wind blown, the senses follow their objects and the 


mind becomes restless. On the affective side of our 
life, raias jsthe cause of all painful exp eriences and is 
itself of the nature of pain (duhkha). It helps the 
element of sattva and tamas, which are inactive and 
motionless in themselves, to perform their functions. 
Tamas is the principle of passivity and negativity 
in things. It is opposed to sattva 

Jr'of'lnait.^ in beiQ g heav y te™> «* ™ 

■ad i» heavy and obstructing the manifestation of 


object* (varanaka;. It also resists 

the principle of rajas or activity in so far as it restrains 
(niyam) the motion of things. It counteracts the 
power of manifestation in the mind, the intellect and 
other things, and thereby produces ignorance and dark- 
ness, and leads to confusion and bewilderment (cnohaV 
By obstiucting the principle of activity in us it induce s 
.sleep, d rowsiness, a nd laziness. It also producesjhe 
state of apathy or in differ ence (visada). Hence it is 
that sattva, rajas and lamas have been compared 
respectively to whiteness, redness and darkness. 

With regard to the relation among the three gunas 
constituting the world, we observe 

and co-operation with as well as co-operation. They 

onr another. — -, 

always go together and can never 
be separated from one another. "Nor can any one of 
them produce anything without the help and support of 
the other two. Just as the oil, the wick and the flame, 
which are relatively opposed to one another, co-operate 
to produce the light of a lamp, so the gunas co-operate 
to produce the objects of the world , althougti they 

possess different and oppose d qualities . So all thV 


.three gunas are present in everything of the world, 
great or small, fine or gross. But each of them tries 
to suppress and dominate the others. The nature of 
things is determined by the predominant guna, while 
the others are there in a subordinate position. We 
cannot point to anything of the world which does not 
contain within it all the three elements, of course, in 
'different proportions. The classification of objects into 
good, bad and indifferent, or into pure, impure and 
neutral, or into intelligent, active and indolent, has 
reference to the preponderance of eattva, rajas and 
tamaB respectively. 

Another characteristic of the gunas is that they 
are constantly changing. "Change 

Tbey are subject to / e o e> 

constant cbanpe and or transformation belongs to the 

transformation. ., ,, , 

.very essence ot the gunas, and 

they cannot help changing even for a moment." 

There are two kinds of trausforma- 

Twu kjnas of trans- 
formation i.f the tion which the gunaB undergo. 

B " 9M ' During pralaya or dissolution of 

the world, the gunas change, each within itself, 

s without disturbing the others. That is, Battva changes 

into sattva, rajas, into rajas and so too with tamas. 

Such transformation of the gunas is called sarupa- 

parinama or change into the homogeneous. At this 

stage, the gunas cannot create or produce anything, 

because they do not oppose and co-operate with one 

another. No nhjrrtnj_Jihri worlds can arise unles6 

the gunas combine, and one of then^jjr^douiinatfifl 

ovex-Jhfe N^ others . So before creation, the gunas 

exist as a homogeneous mass in which there is no 

motion (although there is transformation), no thing, 


and none of the qualities of sound, touch, colour, 
taste and smell. This is the state of equilibrium 
(samyavastha) for the gunas, to which the Sankhya 
gives the name of prakrti. The other kind of trajas- 
formation takes place when one of the gunas dom inates 
ov er the others which become su bordinate to it. ^Vhen 
this "happens, we have the prodtretTOn^oT "particular 
objects. Such transformation is called virfipapari- 
nama or change into the heterogeneous, and it is the 
starting- point of the world's evolution. 

[I. Purtisa or the Self 1 

The second type of ultimate reality admitted by 

the Sankhya is the s-elf. The 

The self ii an i«- ex j s t ence f the self must be admit- 

dubitable reality. 

ted by all. Everybody feels and 
iissertB that he or bbe exists, and has this or that 
thing belonging to him or her. The feeling *of one's 
own existence is the most natural and indubitable 
experieol-e that we ail have. In fact, no one can 
seriously deny the existence of his self, for the 
act of denial presupposes the reality of the belf. So 
it has been said by th e Siuikhyas that t he self exists, 
because it is sel f-manifest and its n on-existe nce 
c annot be prove d in any way. 

But while there is general agreement with regard to 
the existence ot the belt, there is a 
Different conception* w j ( i i0 divergence ot opinion about its 
nature. Some Carviikas or material- 
ists identify the self with the gross body, some with the 

1 Vide Vedantasara, 51 59; Karika and Kaumudi. 17-20; Pra- 
vaemabhifya and Kff/i, 1.60, 1 138-61, 5. 01-68. 


senses, some with life, and some others with the 
mind. The Buddhists and some empiricists regard the 
self as identical with the at^ma of consciousness. The 
Nyaya-Vaisesikaa and the Pflphakara Mlmarhsakas main- 
tain that the self is an unconscious subBtanoe which may 
acquire the attribute of consciousness under certain condi- 
tions. The Bha$ta Mimamsakas, on the other hand, 
think that the self is a oonscious entity which Is partially 
hidden by ignorance, as appears from the imperfect and 
partial knowledge that men have of their selves. The 
Advaita Vedanta holds that the self is pure eternal con- 
sciousness which is also a blissful existence (saccidananda- 
svarupa). It is one in all bodies, and is eternally free and 
self-shining intelligence. 

According to the Sankhya, the self is different from 
the body and the senses ,Ube manas 

The self is pure, . \ . . 

eternal and all-pervad- and the intellect (buddhi). It is 
log conac.ioa.neaa. ^ anytbing of tfae wor]( j of ob _ 

jects. The self is not the brain, nor the nervous 
system, nor the aggregate of conscious states. The 
self is a, /^ascious . -spirit ,wt)i''h is always the subject 
of knowledge and can never become tne object of 
any knowledge. It -is., not a . substance with the' 
Qttrib.nte.Jol consciousness, but it is pure consciousness 
as. such. "Consciousnes s is its veiy essenc e and not 
_fl mnira quality nf it. Nor should we say that iTis a 
blissful consciousness (anandasvarupa), aa the Advaita 
Vedantin thinks ; bliss and consciousness being different 
things cannot be the essence of the same reality. The 
self is the transcand«afc_8object whose essence is pure 
jfi mscionsn ess. The light ot tne self's consciousness 
ever remains the same, although the objectB of 
knowledge may change and succeed one another. It is 
a steady constant consciousness in which there is 
neither change nor activity. The self is above all 


change and activity. It is an unc aused, eternal a nd 
£II-prevading reality which* free from all attachment 
and unaffected by all objects. All change and activity, 
all pleasures and pains belong really to matter and its 

' products like the body, mind and intellect. It is 
sheer ignorance to think that the self is the body or 
the senses or the mind or the intellect. But when, 
through such ignorance, the self confuses itself with 

Cany of these things, it seems to be caught up in the 
flow of changes and activities, and merged in the mire 
of sorrows and miseries. 

The existence of the self as the transcendent subject 

of experience is pro ed by the 

^VS.Sf.'* Sahkhya by several arguments: 

(a) All objects of the world are : 
means to the ends of other beings, because they are 
su many collocations of parts., like chairs, tables, etc. 
Th ese being s whose purpose is served by the things 
of the world must be quite diiTerent^^_'dist.inct from 
them alt That is, they cannot be said to be uncon- 
scious'things, made up of parts like physical objects, 
for that would make them means to the ends of others 
and not ends in themselves. They must be consciousi 
selves, to whose ends all physical objects are the means/ 
(o) All material obj ects inclu ding the mind and intellect 
must be controlled and directed by some intelligent 
principhTTn "order that they can_achieye anyffiiagznr 
realize any end. A machine or a car does its work 
when" put under the guidance of some person. So 
there must be some selves who guide the operations of 
prakrti and all her products, (c) All objects of tb.9 
world are of the nature of pleasure, pain and 
39— 1605B 


indifference. But pleasure and pain have meaning only 
as they are experienced by some conscious experiencer. 
Hence there must be some conscious subjects or selves 
who enjoy and suffer pleasure and pain respectively. 
(d) Some persons at least of this world make, a sincere 
endeavour to attain final release from all suffering. 
This is not possible for anything of the physical world, 
for, by its very nature, the physical world causes 
suffering rather than relieve it. So there must be some 
immaterial substances or s elves transcendin g the 
physical order. Otherwise, the concept of liberation or 
salvation: an d the will to liberate or to be liB eraTed <i s 
found in Baint8jind_ihej^a.yiours of mankind would be 

There is not, as the A.dvaita Vedantiu says, one 

universal self pervading all bodies 
«S%of n,any soh^ ' alike. On the other hand, we must 

admit a plurality of selves, of which 
one is connected with each body. That there are many 
selves in the world follows from the following con- 
siderations: (a) There is an obvious difference in ttie 
biith and death, and the scnuety and motor cndow- 
ments of different individuals. The birth or death of 
one individual does not mean the same for all other 
individuals. Blindness or deafness in one man does 
not imply the same for all men. But if all persons 
had one and the same self, then the h,rti \ a Tjd df-ath 
of one would cause the birth and death of all, and the 
blindness or deafness of one would make all others 
blind or deaf. Since, however, that is not the case, 
we are to say that there is not one but many selves. 
(b) If there were but one self for all living beings, 


then the activity of any _ojge_, mast make all others 
active. But as a matter of fast, when we sleep, otEers 
make restless efforts, and vice versa, (c) Men and 
women are different from the gods, on the one hand, 
and birds and beasts, on the other. But there could 
not have bean these disti nc tio ns, if gods and human 
beings, birds and beasts possessed the same self. 
Thus we see that there must be a plurality of selves, 
which are eternal and intelligent subjects of knowledge, 
as distinguished from prakrti which is the one, eternall 
and non-intelJigent ground of the objects of knowledge, < 
including manas, intellect and the ego. 

4. Evolution of the World 1 

Prakrti evolves the world of objects when it comes 

Thr evolution of into Nation with the purusa. The 

the w..rl<i hag iU start- evolution of the vtorld Ins its Start- 
ing-point in the con* 
t»ct between pnru?a lngjjnint in the contac t (saihyoga) 

am pra rti. between purusa or the self and 

prakrti or primal matter. The contact (satpyoga) 
between purusa and prakiti does not however mean any 
kind of ordinary conjunction like that between two 
finite material substances. It is a sort of effective 
relation through which prakrti is influenced ny flie 
presence of purusa in the same way in which "our body 
is sometimes moved by the presence of a thought. 
There can be no evolution unless the two become 
somehow related to each other. The evolution of the 
world cannot be due to the self alone, for it is inactive : 
nor can it be due to matter (prakrti) alone, f or it i s 

1 Knl* K&rtki »n>l Kaumuiti, -.21-41 ; I'raracanabh&tya ami Vftti, 
1 . 64-74, 8. 108a. 


non-intelligent. The activity of prakrti must be guided 
by the intelligence of purusa, if there is to be any 
evolution of the world. It is only when purusa and 
prakrti co-operate that there is the crealion of a world 
of objects. But the question is : How can two such 
different and opposed principles like purusa and prakrti 
co-operate ? What brings the one in contact with the 
other ? The answer given by the Sahkhya is this : 

C" ist as a blind man and a lame man can co-operato in 
der to get out of a forest, so the non-intelligent 
prakrti and the inactive purusa combina-and co-operate 
to serve their respective interests. Prakrti requires the 
presence of purusa in-order to be known or appreciated 
by someone (dars'anartham), and purusa requires the 
help of prakrti in order to discriminate itself from the 
latter and thereby attain liberation (kaivalyiirtham). 
With the contact between purusa and prakrti, there 
is a disturbance of the equilibrium 

ThiB contact dis- . , 

torbs the crigiDal equi- in wbicn the gunas were held 
y i rmn> o pra r '• before creation. 0;ie of the gunas, 

namely rajas, which is naturally active, is disturbed 
first, and then, through rajas, the other gunas begin 
to vibrate. This produces a tremendous commotion in 
the infinite bosom of prakrti and each of the gunas 
tries to preponderate over the rest. There is a gradual 
differentiation and integration of the three gunas, and 
as a result of their combination in different proportions, 
the various objectB of the world originate. The course 
of evolution is as follows : 
y The first product of the evolution of prakrti h 
mah^at or buddbi. 1 Considered in its cosmic aspect, it 

1 VideS&iikhyo-sUt.,!. 71. 


is the great germ of this vast world of objects 
__ , . , and is accordingly called mahat 

The first product of ° ' 

evolution i» mahat or or the great one. In its psycho- 
logical aspect, i.e. as present in 
individual beings, it is called buddhi or the intellect. 
The epeKial funct ions of buddhi are ascertainment and 
decifiiotu It is by means oftEe intellect that tbe 
distinction between the subject and other objects is 
understood, and one makes decisions about things. 
Buddhi arises out of the preponderance of the element 

Jot sattva in prakrti. It is the natural function of 
buddhi to manifest itself and other things. In its pure 
(sfittvika) condition, therefore, it has such attributes 
as virtue fdbarma}, knowledge (jnana;, detachment 
(vairagya) and excellence (aisvaryya). But when 
vitiated by tamas, it has such contrary attributes as 
vice (adharma), ignorance (ajniina>, attachment (asakti 
or avairagya) and imperfection (asakti or anaiBvaryya). 
Buddhi, is difTerent from purusa or the Belf which 
transcends all physical things and qualities. But it is 
the ground of all intellectual processes in all individual 

^beings. It stands nearest to the self and reflects the 
consciousness of the self in such a way as to become 
apparently conscious and intelligent. While the senses 
and tbe mind function for buddhi or the intellect, the 
latter functions directly for the self and enables it to 
discriminate between itself and prakrti.' 

Ahankara or the ego ie the second product of 
Tho second is prakrti, which arises directly out 

«faa*Uraor tbe ego. of ^ ahat( tfae first manifestation. 

The function of ahankara is the feeling of ' I and 

I Vide Kiriki, 36-37 ; ttftHrhya-tut., 2. «M8 



mine ' (abhimana). It is on account of ahankara that 
the self considers itself (wrongly indeed) to be an agent 
or a cause of actions, a desirer of and stciver for ends, 
and an owner of properties. We first perceive objects 
through the senses. Tben the mind reflects on them 
and determines them specificaily as of this or that kind. 
Next there is an appropriation of those objects as 
belonging to aud intended for me, and also a feeling of 
myself as somehow concerned in them. Ahankara is 
just this sense of the self as 'I' (ahain), and of objects 
as 'mine' (mama). When ahankara thus determines 
our attitude towards the objects of the world, we pro- 
ceed to act in different ways in relation to them. The 
potter constructs a pot when he accepts it as one of his 
ends and resolves to attain it by saying within himself : 
' Let me construct a pot.' 

Ahankara is said Ao be of three kind-*, according to 

the predominance of one or other 
There arc <br<V kinds of the three „ una8 Tt is ca ] )ed 
of nbaflka'B. ° * 

vaikarika or siittvika when the 

element of sattva predominates in it, Jtajjasa or rajasa 
when that of rajas predominates, and bhutadi or tamasa 
when tatnas pre.lomimtes. From the first arise the 
eleven organ9, namely, the five organs of perception 
(jBanendriyai, the five organs of action (karmsndriya), 
and the mind f.-nanas). From the third (i.e. tamasa 
ahankara) are derived the five subtle elements (tan ma- 
tras). The second (viz. rajasa) is concerned in both 
the first and the third, and supplies the energy needed 
for the change of sattva and tamas into their pro- 

The above order of development from Himukura is 
laid down in the 8ahkhya-Jsarika and accepted by Vacaspali 


Mi6ra.' Vijfittnabhiksu, 2 however, gives a different order. 
According to him manas or the mind is the only sense 
which is pre-eminently sattvika or manifesting, and is, 
therefore, derived from sattvika ahankara. The other tfn 
organs are developed from riljasa ahankara, and the five 
subtle elements from the tamasa. The Vedimta view is 
similar to. that held by Vaoaspati. 

The five organs of perception (buddhindriya) are the 
senses of fight, hearing, smell, taste 
Five organs of know- an)1 touc-b. These perceive respec- 
e Ke " tively the physical qualities of colour, 

sound, smell, taste and touch, and are developed from 
ahankara for the enjoyment oi the self. It is the Eelf's 
desire to enjoy objects that creates ooth the objects of, 
and the organs for, enjoyment. The organs oi action 
(karmendriya) ;ire located in the mouth, hands, feet, anus 
and the sex organ. These perform 
Fiworgaiwof artini). respectively the functions of speech, 
prehension. movement, excretion 
and reproduction. The real organs are not the perceptible 
external organs, like the eye-balls, ear-holes, skin, hands, 
feet, etc. There are certain imperceptible powers (sakti) 
in these pi-rceptible end -organs which apprehend physical 
objects and act (in them, and are. therefore, to be regarded 
as the organs (indriyas) proper. As such, an indViya cannot 
be sensed or perceived, but must be known by inference. ' 
The mind (inanus) is the central organ 
Minaaoruiind i« ihi- which partakes of the nature of the 
central organ. organs of both knowledge and action. 

Without the guidance of the manas 
neither of them can function in relation to their objects. 
The manas is a very subtle sense indeed, but it is made up 
of parts, and so can come into contact with several senses 
at the same time. The mind, the eyo and the intellect 
(manas, ahankara and buddhi) are the three inter- 
nal organs (antuhkarana), while the 

a dbkh »ki a » kBriiP * S eenses of s, S nt > heariu S> etc. and 
y» Mans*. ^ e organs ot action are called the 

external organs (buhyakaraiv.v). The vital breaths or 

processes are the functions of the internal organs. The ten 

external organs condition the function of the internal ones. 

The mind (manas) interprets the indeterminate sense- 

Cf. K&rikt an.l Kaumudi, 25. s Cf. Pravaeana bhSfya, 2. 19. 
Cf. S&nkhyasul , 2. '23 ; KSriki and Kaumudi, 28 and -28. 


data supplied by the external organs into determinate 
perceptions; the ego owns the perceived objects as desirable 
ends of the self or dislikes them ; and the intellect decides 
to act to attain or avoid those objects. The three internal 
and the ten external organs are collectively c alled the t bir- 
teen karanas or organs in the Sankhya pftlloSopJiy^ While" 
the external organs are limtte'd"~T6~ present objects, the 
internal ones deal with thepasi^ presenFand future." 1 

The Sankhya view of the manas and other organs has 
certain obvious differences from those 
The 9afikhya view of the other systems. According to 
of manas and other the Nyaya-Vaisesikas, manas is an 
organs is different . r * . *,,' i_ • 1 i_ 

from those of tb« other eternal atomic suostance which has 
systems. neither parts nor any simultaneous 

contact with many senses. So we 
cannot have many experiences — many perceptions, desires 
and volitions — at the same time. For the Siinkhyas, the 
manas is neither atomic nor eternal, but a composite pro- 
duct of prakrti, and so subject to origin and destruction in 
time. It is also held by thetn that we may have many 
experiences — sensation, perception, feeling and volition — at 
the same time, althpugli ordinarily our experiences come 
one after the other. The Nyaya-Vaisesikas admit only the 
manas and the five external senses as indriyas and hold 
that the external senses are derived from the physical 
elements (mahabhuta). The Sunkhvas enumerate eleven 
indriyas, e.g. the manas, the five sensory, organs antTtha. 
fiye motor organs, and derivetEein all from the ego (ahan- 
karn), which is not recognized as a separate principle by the 
other systems. The Vedaatins treat the five vitai breaths 
(paflca-priina) as independent principles, while the Saukhyas 
reduce them to the general functions of antahkarana. 2 

The five tanmatras are the potential elements or 
generic essences of sound, touch. 

Five tanmatras. 

colour, taste and smell. These 
are very subtle and cannot be ordinarily perceived. 
We know them by inference, although the yogins 
may have a perception of them. The gross physical 

1 C] Sahkhjja-sut., 2. 26-32, 2. 38, 6. 71 ; K&riki and Kaumudi, 
.27, 29-80, 32 33. 

* Cf. SaAkhya-sut., 2. 20-22, 2. 31-82, 5. 81 ; Kiriki, 24 and 29-30. 


elements arise from the tanmatras as follows: 
(t) From the essence of sound 
eilmentr 8 ' Phy8iC81 (fcbdatanmatra) is produced akafa 
with tbe quality of sound which 
is perceived by the ear. (tt) From the essence 
of touch (spars*itanmatra) combined with that of 
sound, arises air with the attributes of sound 
and touch. (Hi) Out of the essence of colour (rupa- 
tanmatra) as mixed with those of sound and touch, 
there arises light or fire with the properties of sound, 
touch and colour, (b) From the essence of taste 
(rasatanmatra) combined with those of sound, touch 
and colour is produced the element of water with the 
qualities of sound, touch, colour and taste. (»; The 
essence of smell (gandhatanraatraj combined with the 
other four gives rise to earth which has all the five 
qualities of sound, touch, colour, taste and smell. The 
five physical elements of akasa, air, light, Water and 
earth have respectively the specific properties of sound, 
touch, colour, taste and smell. In the order in which 
they occur here, the succeeding element has the special 
qualities of the preceding ones added to its own, since 
their essences, go on combining progressively. 1 

The whole course of evolution from prakrfci to the gross 

physical elements is distinguished 

Two stages of evoia- int0 t st namely, the psychical 

tiou, viz. the psvcbi- , , " , ,.f' f J , ,. 

cal and tbe physical. (pratyayasargn or ouddhisarga) and the 

physical (taninatrasarga or bhautika- 

sarga). The first includes the developments of prakrti 

as buddhi, ahankara and the eleven sense-motor organs. 

The second is constituted by the evolution of the five 

subtle physical essences (tanmatra), the gross elements 

1 C/. Karikd and KaumuJi, •£%. 



(mahabhuta) and their products The tanmatras, being 
supersensible and uaenjoyable to ordinary beings, are 
called aviieaa, i.e. devoid of specific perceptible charac- 
ters. The physical elements and their products, being 
possessed of specific characters, pleasurable or painful or 
stupefying, are designated as vi&esa or the specific. The 
visesas or specific objects are divided into three kinds, 
namely, the gross elements, the gross body born ot parents 
(sthulasarira) and the subtle body (suksma or lingasarira). 
The gross body is composed of the five gross elements, 
although some think that it is made of four elements or ol 
only one element. The subtle body is the combination of 
buddhi, ahankara, the eleven sense-motor organs and the 
five subtle elements (tanmatra). The gross body Ts the 
support of the subtle body, in so far as the intellect (buddhi), 
the ego (ahankara) and the senses cannot function without 
eome physical basis. According to Viicaspati there are 
only these two kinds of bodies as mentioned before. 
Vijfianabbjksu, however, thinks that there is a third kind 
of body called the adhisthana body which supports the 
Subtle one when it passes from one gross body into 
another. 1 

The history of the evolved universe is a play of 
twenty-fo ur j^mcjrjlgs J _of which prakrti is the first, 
the five gross elements are the last, and the thirteen 
organs (karanas) and five tanmatras are the interme- 
diate ones. But it is not complete jn itself, since 
it has a necessary reference to the world of selves as 
the witnesses and enjoyers thereof. •■ It is not the dance 
of blind atoms, nor the push and pull of mechanical 
forces which produce a world to no purpose. On. the 
other hand, it serves the most fundamental ends of 
the moral, or better, the spiritual, life. If the spirit, 
be a reality, there must be proper adjustment between 
moral deserts, and the joys and sorrows of life. Agnin, 

1 Cf. KSrika and Kaumudi, "8-41. Safikhya-sut., 8. 1-17 ; P.aracana 
bhatya, 8.11. 



the history of the world must be, in spite of all appear- 
ances to the contrary, the progressive realization of the 
life of spirit. In-the Sankhya, the.evolution of prakrti 
into a world of objects makes it possible for spirits to 
enjoy or suffer according to their merits or demerits. 
But the ultimate end of the evolution of prakrti is the 
freedom (raukti) of self. It is through a life of moral 
training in the evolved universe that the self realizes 
its true nature. What that nature is and how it can 
be realized, we shall consider presently. Now the evo- 
lution of prakrti in relation to the purusa may be 
represeLted by the following table : 



5 Sense- 

5 Motor- 

5 Tanmatrae 

. I 
5 Mahabbutas 

III. The Sx&khva Theory of Knowledge 1 

The SFinkhya theory of knowledge follows in the 
main its dualistio metaphysics. It 

SSS'ZS&Z acce P ta on, y three dependent 
source* of valid know- sources of valid knowledge 

ledge. ■" . ■ 

(pramana). These are perception, 
inference and scriptural testimony (sabda). The other 
sources of knowledge, like comparison, postulation 

' Vtde Kcirika and Koumudi, 4-fi : l>rarac<i>»> bhatyj.l. 87-6'.>, W- 
103; 3. 27, 87,43-51. Cf. The Njiys TLeory of Knowledge (Ch. V 
antt) for u fu'ler account of this subject. 


(arjfchapatti) and non-cognition (anupalabdhi), are in_- 
^"jfnH nn^r ihfl(jfl Hir^ ftn ^ xiot. «L .sepa- 
rate sources of knowledge. 

Valid k nowle dge (prama) is a defini te and an pnerr- 
ing cognition of some object (artha- 

tion of buddhi or tbe intellect 
which reflects the consciousness of the self in it. 

What we call the mind or the intellect is an uncon- 
v ecious material entity in the Sankhya philosophy. 
Consciousness or intelligence (caitanya) really belongs 
to the self. But the self cannot immediately appro- 
hend the objects of the world. Tf it could, we should 
always know all objects, since the self in us is not finite 
and limited, but all-pervading. T he self knows objects 
through the intellect, the manas, and the senses. 
We Have a true" Knowledge "ol objects when, Through 
the activity of the senses and the manas, their formp 
are impressed on the intellect which, in its turn, 
reflects the light or consciousness of the eelf. 

In all valid knowledge there are three factors, 

namely, the subject (pramataj, the 
kSwK™ " Va " d ob J' ect (P™nieya), and the ground 

or source of knowledge (pramana). 
The subject being a conscious principle is no other 
than the self as p ure consci ousness (Buddha cetana). 
The modification (vrtti; of the intellect, through which 
tbe self knows an object, is called praraan a. The 
object presented to the self through this modification 
is tbe prameya. Prama or valid knowledge is the 
reflection of the self in the intellect as modified into 
the form of the object, because without tbe self's 


consciousness the unconscious intellect cannot cognise 

Perception in the direct cognition of an object 
through its contact with some 

ceptTo , n eDBt " re0,1,er ' f!ftnee - When an ob J ect like the 

, table conies within the range of 

your vision, there is contact between the table and 
your eyes. The table produces certain impressions or 
modifications in the pense organ, which are analysed 
and synthesised by manas or the rnind. Through the 
activity of the senses and the mind, bud dhi or the 
intellect becomes modified and transformed i nto the 
shape of the'table. The intellect, however, being_aj[i 
unconscious material principle, cauuot by itse lf know 
the object, although the form of the object is present 
in it. But as the intellect has an excess of sattva, 
it reflects, like a transparent mirror, the co nsciousness 
or the self (puiusa). With the reflection of the self's 
conscioutness in it, the unconscious modification of the 
intellect into the form of the table becomes illumined 
'into a' conscious state of perception. Just as a mirror 
reflects the light of a lamp and thereby manifests 
other things, 60 the material princi ple of buddhi^ being 
transparent and bright (siittvjka), retiects the conscious- 
ness of the self and illuminates or cognises the objects 
of knowledge. 

It 16 to bo observed here thitt the reflection theory of 
knowledge has been explained in two different ways by 
Vucaspati MieVa and VijnSnnbhiksu. We have followed 
the former in the account of the knowledge process given 
above. Viicuspati thinks that the knowledge of an object 
takes place when there is reflection of the self in the 
intellect which has been modified into the form of the 
object. According to Vijfliinabhiksu, the process of 


perceptual knowledge is like this : When any object comes 
in contact with its special sense organ, the intellect 
becomes modified into the form of the object. Then 
because of the predominance of sattva in it, the intellect 
reflects the conscious self and seems to be conscious, in 
the same way in whicb a mirror reflects the light of a 
lamp and becomes itself luminous and capable of mani- 
festing other objects. But next, the intellect, which is 
thus modified into the form of the object, is reflectad back 
in the self. That is, the object is presented to the sett 
through a mental modification corresponding to the form 
of the object. Thus on Vacuspati's view, there is n 
reflection of the self in the intellect, but no reflection of 
the intellect back into the self. VijfiSnabhiksu, on the other 
hand, thinks that there is a reciprocal reflection of the self 
in the intellect and of the intellect in the self. This view 
is accepted also in Vedavyasa's commentary on the Yoga- 
Sut'a. 1 What induces Vijnrmabhiksu to suppose that 
the modified intellect is reflected in the self is perhaps the 
necessity of explaining the self's experience of pleasure 
and pain. The self, being pure consciousness, free from 
all pleasure and pain, cannot be subjected to these 
experiences. It is the intellect which really enjoys pleasure 
and suffers pain. So,' the apparent experiences ot pleasure 
and pain in the self should be explained by some sort 
of reflection' of the intellect in the self. 

There are two kinds of perception, namely, nirvi- 

... ., . , , kalpaka- or the indeterminate and 

Nirvikalpafca and r — — — • 

savikaipaka pomp savikalpaka or the deter minate . 
The first arises at the first moment 
of contact between a seu*e and its object, and is 
a antecedent to all menial analysis and synthesis of the 
sense-data. It is accordingly called alocama or a mere 
sensin sLPf the object . In it there is a cognition of 
Mi e object as a rn9re so nsthing without any recogni- 
tion of it as this or that kind of thing. It ia an 
unrerbaliseJ experience li(c<3 those of the infant anl 
the dumb. Just as babies and dumb person* cannot 

1 Vide, 19): Vjftjo bhafya, 4 '2!. 

THE siSkhya philosophy 319 

express their experiences in words, so we cannot 
communicate this indeterminate perception of objects 
to other people by means of words and sentences. 
The second kind of perception is the result of the 

' analysis, synthesis and interpretation of sense-data 
by manas or the mind. So it is called v iyecana 01 
a judgment of the object. It is the determinate 
cognition of an object as a particular kind of thing 
having certain qualities and standing in certain rela- 
tions to other things. The determinate perception 
of an object is expressed in the form of a subject- 
predicate proposition, e.<j. 'this is a cow,' 'that rose 
is red." 

Inference it* the knowledge of one term of a 

lelation. which is not perceived, 

,. 1 Ss"i^l■" ,, ' through the other which is per- 

i-eived and known to be invariably 

related to the fiivt . In it what is perceived leads us 

on U\ the knowledge of what is un perceived through 

>fhe knowledge of a universal relation (vjapti) between 

the two. We get the knowledge of vyapti between 

two things from the ''yp^ntpjnhjf nation "WTfieTr ron 

comitance. One single instance of their relation is not.. 

as some logicians wrongly think, sufficient to establish 

the knowledge of a universal relation between them. 

With regard to the classification of inference, the 

Sankhya adopts the Nyaya view, 

Tbc riaitiflMtioii although in a slightly different 
of lnfenuci;. ° ° J 

form. Inference is first divided 

into two kinds, namely, vita and avita. It is called 

1 For a fuller account of nirvikalpaka a oil sav.kalpaka perceptions , 
tide 8. C. Chattprjee, The Xjijo Theory o/ Knowledge, Cb. IX. 

vita or affirmative when it ia based on a 

affirmativa proposition, and avlta or negative whan 
based on a universal negative proposition! The vita 
<. issubdivided intotue purvavat and the satnanyatodrsta. 
A purvavat inference is that which is based "on the 
observed uniformity of concomitance between tw6 
things. This is illustrated when one infers the exist- 
ence of are from smoke because one has observed that 
smoke is always accompauied by fire. Samanyato- 
drsta inference, on tbe other band, is not based on 
any observation of the concomitance between the 
middle and the major term, but on the similarity of 
the raiddie with su^h facts as are uniformly related to 
the major. How do we know that we have the visual 
and other senses'? It cannot be by mean? of percep- 
tion. The senses 'are supersensible. We have no 
sen 46 to perceive our senses with. Therefore, we are 
to know the existence of the senses by an inference like 
this: "All actions require some means or instrumants, 
e.g. the act of cutting; the perceptions of colour, etc. 
are so many acts; therefore, there must be some 
means or organs of perception." It should be noted 
here that we infer the existence of organs from acts 
of perception, not because we have observed the organs 
to be invariably related to parceptive ajts, but because 
we know that parception is an action and that an action 
requires a means of action. The other kind of in- 
ference, namely, avlta is what some Naiyayikas call 
Sesivat or paris>sa inference. It consists in proving 
something to be true by the elimination of all other 
alternatives to it. This is illustrated when one argues 
that sound must be a quality because it cannot be a 


substance or an activity or a relation or anything else. 
As regards the logical form of inference, the Sankhyaa 
admit, like the Naiyayikas, that the five-membered syl- 
logism is the most convincing form of inferential proof. 1 
The third pramana is sabda or testimony. It is 
_. ' constituted by authoritative state- 

The nature and 

forrns or tibia, or inents (aptavacana) , and gives as 
1,1 the knowledge of objects which 

cannot be known by perception and inference. A 
statement is a sentence made up of Tords arranged in 
a certain way. A word is a sign which denotes some- 
thing (vacaka^, and its meaning (artha) is the thing 
denoted by it (vacyaj. That is, a word is a symbol 
which stands for some object. The understanding of 
a sentence requires the understanding of the meanings 
of its constituent words. Sabda is generally said to be 
of two kinds, namsly, laukika and vaidika. The first 
ms the testimony of ordinary trustworthy, parsons. 
This, however, is not recognized in the Slnkhya as a 
separate pramana, since it depends on perception and 
inference. It is the testimony of Sruti or the Vedas 
that is to be admitted as the third independent pra- 
mina. The Vedas give us trua knowledge about 
superssnsuous realities which cannot be known through 
perception an 1 inference. As not made by any person, 
the Vedas are free from all defects and imperfections 
that tnujt cling to the prodaccs of personal agencies. 
They are, therefore, infallible, and pjsses* self-evident 
validity. The VeJas emboJy the intuitions of enlight- 
ened seers (.rats). These intuitions, being universal 

1 Vide, p. 910 anCa. For an elaborate account of the theory of infer- 
ence, t»'d« S. 0. Ohatterjee, The Nyi)a Theory o' Knowledge, Bit. III. 

41-1605 B. 


and eternal experiences, are not dependent on the will 
or consciousness of individual persons. As such, the 
Vedas are impersonal (apauruseya). Yet they are not 
eternal, since they arise out of the spiritual experiences 
of seers and saints, and are conserved by a coutinuous 
line of instruction from generation to generation. 

IV. The Doctrine of Liberation 1 

Our life on earth is a mixture of joys and sorrows. 
There are indeed many pleasures of life, and also 
many creatures who have a good sharo of them. But 
many more are the pains and sufferings of life, and all 
living beings are more or less subject to them. Even 
if it be possible tor any individual being to ehun ail 
other pains and miseries, it is impossible for him to 
evade the clutches t of decay and death. Ordinarily, 
however, we are the victims of three 
P.R l %Xk»! **** of pains, viz. the adhyatmika, 
adhibhautika and adhi- adhibhautika and adhidaivika. 

The first is due to intra-organic 
causes like bodily disorders and mental affections. It 
includes both bodily and mental sufferings, such as 
fever and headache, the pangs of fear, anger, greed, 
etc. The sesoud is produced by extra-organic natural 
causes like men, beasts, thorns, etc. Instances of this 
kind are found in cases of murder, snake-bite, prick of 
thorns and so forth. The third kind of suffering is 
caused by extra-organic supernatural causes, e.g. the 
pains indicted by ghosts, demons, etc. 

1 Vide K&rika and Kaumtidl, 44-68; S&hkhya-s fit. , Piavacana- 
bhajva and Vrttt, 3. 65-64. 


Now all men earnestly desire to avoid every kind of 

pain. Nay more, they want, once 

rid A ofp«£ W8ntt0get for all, to put an end to all their 

sufferings, and have enjoyment at 

all times. But that is not to bft. We cannot have 

pleasure only and exclude pain altogether. So long as 

we are in, this frail body with its imperfect organs, all 

pleasures are bound to be mixed up with, pain or, at 

least, be temporary. Hence we should give up the 

hedonistic ideal of pleasure ?nd rest content with the 

lefs attractive Lut more rational end of freedom from 

Fiflkhva mokti <>r pain. In the Sankhya system, 

ST^tSTJiTa ' iber » tion {mulct.*; is j-.„t the abso- 

F ftin - lute and complete ces?ation of all 

pain without a possibility of return, tt is the ultimate 

end or the sammum bonum of our life lapavar^a or 

purusartha). • 

How are we to attain liberation or absolute freedom 

from all pain and suffering? All 

in»mpce»th,eraw the arts and crafts of the modern 

of suffcril g. So free- 
dom from sufferin? i» man and all the blessings of 

to be attained through . . , 

right knowledge. modern science give us but tempo- 

rary relief from pain or short-lived 
pleasures. These do not ensure a total and final 
release from all the ills to which our mind and body 
are subject. So the Indian philosopher wants some 
other more effective method of accomplishing the task, 
and this he finds in the right knowledge of reality 
(tattvajSana). It is a general rule that our Bufferings 
are due to our ignorance. In the different walks of 
life we find that the ignorant and uneducated man 
comes to grief on many occasions because he does not 


know the laws of life and nature. The more know- 
ledge we have about ourselves and the world we live 
in, the better fitted are we for the struggle for exist. 
ence and the enjoyments of life. But the fact remains 
that we are not perfectly happy, nor even completely 
free from pain and misery. The reason for this is 
that we have not the perfect knowledge about reality. 
When we have that knowledge, we shall attain free- 
dom from all suffering. Reality is, according to the 
Sankhya, a plurality of selves and 

.u2&^K."ir w " the worid ° f ° b J ects p resented to 

them. The self is an intelligent 
principle which does not possess any quality or activity 
but is a pure consciousness free from the limitations of 
space, time and causality. It is the pure subject which 
trarecends the whole world of objects including physical 
things and organic Bodies, the mind and the senses, the 
ego and the intellect. All changes and activities, all 
thoughts and feelings, all pleasures and paios, all joys 
and sorrows belong to what we call the mind-body sys- 
tem. Ue self is quite distinct from the mind-body 
complex and is, therefore, beyond all the affections and 
afflictions of the psychical life. Pleasure and pain are 
mental facts which do not really colour the pure self. 
It i'b the mind, and not self, that feels pleasure or 
pain, and is happy or unhappy. So aho, virtue and 
vice, merit and demerit, in short, all moral properties 
belong to the ego (abunkara) who is the striver and doer 
of all acts. 1 The 6elf is different from the ego or the 
moral agent who strives for good or bad ends, attains 
them and enjoys or suffers accordingly. ThuB we see 

1 Cf. Sahkhyo-stl. and VftU, 6, 26*6. 


that the self is the transcendent subject whose very 
essence is pure consciousness, freedom, eternity and 
immortality. It is pure consciousness (jfiauasvariipa) 
in the sense that the changing states and processes of 
the mind, which we call empirical consciousness, do 
not belong' to the self. The self is the subject or 
witness of mental changes as of bodily and physical 
changes but is as much distinct from the former as 
from the latter. It is freedom itself in so far as it is 
above the space-time and the cause-effect order of 
existence. It is eternal and immortal, because it is 
not produced by any cause and cannot be destroyed in 
any way. 1 

Pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow really belong to 

buddhi or the intellect and the 

i.'CnXri^nS nund. The purusa or self is by its 

between self and not- Da t ur e free from'them all. But on 


account of ignorance it , fails to 
distinguish itself from the mind and the intellect, and 
owns the/n as parts of itself so much so that it .identi- 
fies itself with the body, the tenses, the ini^ and 
the intellect. It becomes, so to say, somebody with a 
certain name, and a particular 'combination of talent 
temperament and character.' As such, we speak 
of it as the ' material self,' the ' social self,' the 
' sensitive and appetitive self,' the ' imagining and 
desiring self,' or the ' willing and thinking 6elf.' * 
According to the Sankhya, all these are not-self which 
reflects the pure self and apparently imparls its 

1 C/. P'atacana-bhifya, I. 14C-18. 

1 For an account of tbo different kinds of selves vide James, 
Princip'ts of Psychology, Vol. I, Cbap. X, and Ward, Psychological 
Principles, Cbap. XV. 


affections and emotions to the latter. The self cod* 
siders itself to be happy or unhappy when the mind 
and tbe intellect, with which it identifies itself, become 
so, in tbe same way in which a father considers 
himself fortunate or unfortunate in view of his beloved 
son's good or bad luck, or a master feels insulted by 
an insult to his own servant. It is this want of 
discrimination or feeling of identity (aviveka) between 
the self and tbe mind-body that is ihe cause of all our 
troubles. We suffer pain and enjoy pleasure because 
the experiencing subject in us (drasta) wrongly identi- 
fies itpelf with the experienced objects (drs*ya) including 
pleasure and pain. 1 

The cause of suffering being ignorance (ajnana) in 

tbe sense of non-discrimination 

criSof n Mwte„ , (^iveka) between the self and the 

the two leads to froe- ' not-self, freedom from sufferiug 

doui firm suffering. ° 

must come from knowledge of the 
distinction between the two (vivekujuana).' But this 
saving knowledge is not merely an intellectual uader- 
standing of the truth. It must be a direct knowledge 
or clear realization of tbe fact that the self is not the 
body and tbe senses, the mind and the intellect. Once 
we realise or see. that our self is Ihe unborn and 
undying spirit in us, tbe eternal and immortal subject 
of experience, we become free from all misery and 
suffering. A direct knowledge of the truth is necessary 
to remove the illusion of the body or the mind as my 
self. Now I have a direct and an undoubted percep- 
tion that I am a particular psycho-physical organism. 

1 Cj KariH and Kaumudi, 62 ; Ptatacana byStya and V^tti, 8. 72. 
» Cf Kiriki and Kaumudi, 44, 63 ; S&hkhya-s&t. and FftM. 8. 23-24 


The knowledge that the self is distinct from all this 
must be an equally direct perception, if it is to con- 
tradict and cancel the previous one. The illusory 
perception of snake in a rope is not to be sublated by 
any argument or instruction, but by another perception 
of the rope as such. To realize the self we require a 
loijg c° urs 9 of spiritual training with devotion to and 
constant contemplation of, the truth that the spirit 
is not the body, tbe senses, the mind or the intellect. 1 
We shall consider the natui" and methods of this 
training when we come to tbe Yoga philosophy. 

When the self attains liberation, no change takes 
The nature or libera- P lace in h and no Dew l'« - °perty Or 

tion ' quality accrues to it. Liberation or 

freedom of the self does not mean the development 
from a less perfect to a more perfect condition. So 
also, immortality and eternal life are not to be regarded 
as future possibilities or events in time. If were 
events and temporal acquisitions, they would be govern- 
ed by the laws of time, space and causality , and, as 
such, the very opposite of freedom and immortality. 
The attainment of liberation means just the clear re- 
cognition of the self as a reality which is beyond time 
and space, and above the mind and the body, and, 
therefore, essentially tree, eternal and immortal.* 
When there is such realization, the self ceases to be 
affected by the vicissitudes of the body and the mind 
and rests in itself as the disinterested witness of 
physical and psychical changes. " Just as the dancing 
girl ceases to dance after having entertained the 

1 C/. Siitkhyat&t. and Vjtti, 3. 66 and 75; KHiikA and Kaumudi, 64- 
1 <^*«ttkyM*t. and Vitti, 6. 74 83; S&hJthya-sul., 1. 56, 6. 30. 


spectators, so prakrti ceases to act and 'evolve the 
world after manifesting her nature to the self." 
It is possible for every 6elf to realize itself in this way 
and thereby attain liberation in 

Two kinds of mukti, . 

ci2. ;iv&D mukti and life in this world. This kind of 
vi e amukti. liberation is known as jlvanmukti 

or emancipation of the soul while living in 'this 
body. After the death of its body, the liberated 
self attains what is called videhatnukti or emancipation 
of the spirit from all bodies, gross and subtle. This 
ensures absolute and complete freedom.' Vijnana- 
bhiksu, however, thinks that the latter is the real kind 
of liberation, since the self cannot be completely free 
from the influence of bodily and mental changes so 
long as it is embodied. 3 But all Sankhyas agree that 
liberation is only the complete destruction of tha three- 
fold misery (duhktia-traya-bhighata). It is not a state 
of joy as, conceived in the Vedanta. Where there is 
no pain, there can neither be any pleasure ; because 
the two are relative and inseparable. 

V. The Problem of God* 

The attitude of the Sankhya towards theism has 

been the subject of controversy 
Controversy among 

SMkbyas with regard among its commentators and inter- 
to Qod 's existence. . 1T71.-1 , ,, 

preters. While some of them 
clearly repudiate the belief in God, others tako 

1 Cf, Kariki and Kaumudi, 59, 65-66. 

* Cf. K&rtto sod Kaumudi, 67-68; Sthkhya-tBl. and VrUi, 8. 78 HI. 
' Cf. Pravaeanabhatya, 3. 76-64, 6. 116. 

* Cf. Karikd and Kaumudi, 56-57; SUhkhya-tut., Vjtti and 
Pravacana, 1. 9395, 3. 56-57, 6. 2 12. Vide also Gaudapada, S&hkhya- 
kirikabhSfya, and A. K. Majumdar, The S&hkkya Conception of 
Personality, Chapters I and IT. 


great pains to make out that the Sankhya is 
no less tbeistio than the Nyaya. The classical 
Sankhya argues again3t the existence of God on the 
following grounds : (o) That the world as a system of 
» effects must have a cause is no 

ttSSSVSSR? doubt true. But God or Brahman 
cannot be the cause of the world. 
God is paid to be the eternal and immutable 
self ; and what is unchanging cannot be the 
active cause of anything. So it follows that the 
ultimate cause of the world is the eternal but ever- 
changing (parinaral) prakrti or matter, (b) It may be 
said that prakrti being non-intelligent must be con- 
trolled and directed by some intelligent agent to 
produce the world. The individual selves are limited 
in knowledge and, therefore, cannot • control the subtle 
material cause of the world. So there must be an 
infinitely wise being, i.e. God, who directs and guides 
prakrti. But ihis ie untenable. God, as conceived 
by the thei&ts, does not act or exert Himself in any 
way ; but to control and guide prakrti is to actor do 
something. Supposing God is the controller of prakrti, 
we may ask : What induced God to control prakrti 
and thereby create the world ? It cannot be any end 
of His own, for a perfect being cannot have any 
unfulfilled desires and unattained ends. Nor can it be 
the good of His creatures. No prudent man bothers 
himself about the welfare of other beings without his 
own gain. As a matter of fact, the world is 60 full 
of Bin and suffering that it can hardly be said to be 
the work of God who had the good of His creatures 
in view when He created. (c> The belief in God is 

w— 1606 B 


inconsistent with the dislinctrveVeality and immortality 

of individual selves (jiva). If tbe latter be included 

within God as His parts, they ought to have some of 

the divine powers, which, however, is not the case. 

On the other hand, if they are created by God, they 

must be subject to destruction. Tbe conclusion drawn 

from all this is that God docs not exist and that prakrti 

is the sufficient reason for there being a world of 

objects. Prakiti creates the world unconsciously for 

the good of the individual selves (purusa) in the same 

way in which the milk of the cow flows unconsciously 

through her udder for the nourishment of Ihe calf. 

According to another interpretation of the Sankhya, 

which is not generally accepted, 

Theistie interpret"- this system is not atheistic. This 
tion ot the fcanklija. J 

is the view of Yijnanabhiksu and 
some modern writers. * They hold that the existence 
of God 'as possessed of creative activity cannot bo 
admitted. Yet we must believe in God as the eternally 
perfect spirit who is the witness of the world and 
whose mere presence fsannidliimatra) moves prakrti to 
act and create, in the same way in which the magnet 
moves a piece of iron. Yijnanabhiksu thinks that the 
existence of such a God is supported by reason as well 
as by tbe scriptures. 

VI. Conclusion 

The Sarikbya may be call»d a phiiosophy of dualistic 
realism. It traces the whole rourse of the world to 
the interplay of two ultimate principles, tit. spirit 

1 Vide PravaeanabhBtya, ibid. ; A. K. Majumdar, The S&nkhyo 
Conception of Per tonality, ibid. 


and primal matter /purusa and prakrti}. On tbe one 
hand, we have prakrti which is regarded as the ultimate 
cause of the world of objects including physical things, 
organic bodies and psychical products like the mind 
fmanas), the intellect and the ego. Prakrti is both 
tbe material and the efficient cause of the world. It 
is active and ever-changing, but blind and unintelligent. 
How can such a blind principle evolve an orderly 
world and direct it towards any rational end ? How 
again are we to explain the first disturbance or 
vibration in prakrti which is said to be originally in a 
state of equilibrium ? So, on the other hand, the 
Sankhya admits another ultimate principle, viz. purusa 
or the self. The category of purusa includes a plurality 
of selves who are eternal and immutable principles 
of pure consciousness. These selves are intelligent 
but inactive and unchanging. It *is in contact with 
such conscious and intelligent selves that the uncons- 


cious and unintelligent prakrti evolves tbe world of 
experience. But how can the inactive and unchanging 
self at all come in contact with and influence prakrti 
or matter ? The Sankhya holds that the mere 
presence (sannidhi) of purusa or the 6elf is sufficient 
to move prakrti to act, although it itself remains 
unmoved. Similarly, it is the reflection of the 
conscious self on the unconscious intellect that explains 
the cognitive and other psychical functions performed 
by tbe latter. But bow tbe mere presence of tbe self 
can be the cause of changes in prakrti, but not in tbe 
self itself, is not clearly explained. Nor again is it 
quite clear how an unintelligent material principle like 
the intellect can reflect pure consciousness (which is 


immaterial) and thereby become conscious and intelli- 
gent. The physical analogies given in the Sankhya 
are not sufficiently illuminating. Farther, the existence 
of many selves is proved by the Sankhya from the 
difference in the nature, activity, birth and death, and 
sensory and motor endowments of different living 
beings. But all these differences pertain, not to the 
self as pure consciousness but to the bodies associated 
with it. So far as their intrinsic nature (i.e. pure 
consciousness) is concerned, there is nothing to distin- 
guish between one self and another. So there seems 
to be no good ground for the Sankhya theory of many 
ultimate selves. It may be that the many selves of 
which we speak, are the empirical individuals or egos 
dealt with in ordinary life and experience. From 
the speculative standpoint there seem to be certain 
gaps in the Sankhya philosophy. Still we should not 
underrate its value as a system of self-culture for the 
attainment of liberation. So far as the practical end 
of attaining freedom from suffering is concerned, this 
system is as good as any other and enables the religious 
aspirant to realize the highest good of his life, viz, 



Purnacandra Vedantacuficu 
Kalivara Vedantavagfsa 
8. Radhakriahnan 
8. N. Daegnpta 

G. Coster 

N. E. Brahma 

.. Yoga-sutra with Dhasya 
(Calcutta). ' 

.. Patanjah-sutra with 
Bhoja-Vrlti (Calcutta). 

.. Sarva-darSana-safigraha, 
Ch. oo PataBjala. 

.. Indian Philosophy, Vol. 
II, Ch. V. 

.. The Study 0/ Patanjali. 
Yoga as Philosophy 
and Religion (Kegan 

.. Yoga and Western Psy- 
chology 'Oxford Uni- 
versity Press) . 

.. The Philosophy of 
Hindu Sddhana (Eegan 


Putailjala Yogadariano. 



I. Introduction 

The Yoga philosophy is an invaluable gift of the 
„,.... .. great Lilian ea g e Patafiiali to all 

Patsfljali was the o j 

founder of ibe Yoga bent upon spiritual realization. It 
is a great aid to thoso who wish to 
realize the existence of the spirit as an independent 
principle, free from all limitations of the body, the 
senses and the mind. 1 It is known also as the 
Pataiijala system after the name of its founder. The 
Yoga-sutra or the Pdtanjala-sutra is the first work of 
this scbcol of philosophy. Vyasa 

JcT of thil'T^ wrote a brief but val,,able commen - 

tary on the Yoga-sutra called Yoga- 
bhasya or Vyasa-bhdsya. Vacaspati's Tattva-vaisdradi 
is a reliable sub-commentary on Vyasa's commentary. 
Bhojaraja's Vrlti and Yogamani-prabhd are very simple 
and popular works on the Yoga system. Vijfiana- 
bhiksu's Yoga-vdrttika and Yoga-sdra-sangraha are 
other useful manuals of the Yoga philosophy. 

1 Misa Q. Coster has the Yoga system in view when she says : " We 
need, a nrw kind of Society for Psychical Research ... to demons- 
trate to tlie ordinary public the possibility (or impossibility) of genuine 
super-physical experience on thU side" {ride Yoga and Western Psycho- 


The Patafijala system is divided into four padas or 
parls. The first is called the 

There are four 

padas or parts or thig samadmpada and treats of the 
p i osop y. nature, aim and forms of yoga, the 

modifications of citta of the internal organ/ and the 
different methods of attaining yoga. The second, viz. 
the sadhanapida, deals with kriyayoga as a means of 
attaining samadhi, the klesas 1 or mental states causing 
afflictions, the fruits of actions (karmaphala) and their 
painful nature, and the fourfold theme of suffering, 
its cause, its cessation and the means thereof. The 
third or vibhQiipida gives an account of the inward 
aspects of yoga and the supernormal powers acquired 
by the practice of yoga and so forth. The fourth part 
■is cilled the kaivalyapiida and describes the nature 
and forms of liberation, the reality of the transcendent 
self and the other world and so on. 

The Yoga is closely allied to the Sankhya system. 

It is the application of the. theory 
£**£!£.£ *° °* the Sankhya in practical life. 

The Yoga mostly acceptB the 
Sankhya epistemology and admits the three praraanas 
of perception, inference and scriptural testimony. It 
mostly accepts alro the metaphysics of the Sankhya 
with its twenty-five principles, but believes in God 
as the supreme self distinct from other selves. The 
special interest of this system is in the practice of yoga 

1 The verb, ' Mis' ' i» ordinarily intransitive (klisyali), meaning 
'to be afflicted.' *Elesa,' then means affliction or suffering. But 
1 klii ' is sometimes also transitive fkiMn&tj) meaning 'caose affliction,' 
'torment.' The present woid ia more conveniently derived iron 1Mb 
transitive sense Vide Vyita-bhtfya, 1.5, where kli?ta«»kle*a-betuka. 


as the sure means of attaining vivekajSana or discrimi- 
native knowledge which is held in the Sankhya as the 
essential condition of liberation. 

The value of yoga as an important method of 
realizing the spiritual truths of 
forlTreVnftLS Indian philosophy has been recog- 
a nized by almost all the Indian 

systems. We have clear evidence of the recognition 
of yoga practices even in the Upanisads, the Smrtis 
and the Puranas. 1 So long a:-- the mind or the intellect 
of a man is impure and unsettled, be cannot properly 
understand anything of philosophy and religion. We 
must have a pure heart and a tranquil mud if wa are 
to know and realize the truths of philosophy and 
religion. Now the practice of yoga is the best way 
of self-purification, »'. e. purification of the body and the 
intellect. Hence it is thai almost all the systems of 
Indian philosophy insist on the practice of }Qga as the 
necessary practical side of a philosophy of life. 

The d?atuiijala system makes a special study of the 

Tt* yoga iaya down ralure and forms of y°g a > the 
a practical pati. for different steps iu yoga practice, and 

attaiuiog liberation. * 

other important things connected 
with these. It holds, like the Sankhya and some other 
Indian systems, that liberation h to be attained through 
the direct knowledge of the self's distinction from the 
physical world including our body, mind and the ego 
(vivekajfiana). But this can be realized only if we 
can manage to suppress and terminate the functions 
of the body and the senses, the manas and the intellect 

1 C/. Ko(ha Upontjoi, 6. It. 6. IS, Soetdiootar*. 'i. R. 3. U. 
48 — 160S11 


and .finally, the ego (i.e. the empirical self) and yet 
have eelf-consciousness or experience of the transcendent 
Fpirit ipunisa). This would convince us that the 6elf 
is above the mind-body complex, (he senses and the 
intellect and alfo the suffering or enjojing individual 
ego. It will be teen to be above all physkal reality 
with its spatio-temtoral and cause-effect order. This 
is the realization of the self na the free, immortal fpirit 
which is above sin and suffering death and destruction. 
In other words, it is the attainment of freedom from 
all pain and misery, i. e. liberation. The Yoga system 
lays down a practical path of self-realization for the 
religious aspirant and the sincere seeker after the spirit. 
The Sankhya lays greater stress on discriminative 
knowledge as the means of attaining liberation, 
although it recommends such practical methods as 
study, reasoning ai;d constant meditation on the truth. 1 
The Yoga, on the other hand, emphasizes the impor- 
tance of tne practical methods of purification and con- 
centration for realizing the telf's distinction from the 
body and the mind, and thereby attaining liberation. 
These will be explained in the Yoga ethics. Before 
we come to that we have to study the Yoga psychology 
which deals with the nature of the self, the mind and 
its function, and the relation between mind, body and 
the self. 

II. Yoga Psychology 

In the Sankhja-Yoga system, the individual self 
(jiva) is regarded as the free spirit associated with the 

1 Fide Kiriki and Kaumudi, W 


grosft body and more closely related to a subtle body 

Tho self knows the constituted by the senies, the 

objt-ct. ot tbe worid m; , na? tne ego and the intellect. 

tli rough ;he inoJifi-.a- ' ° 

tioo» of cut* or the The self is, in its own nature, pure 

Djiod. .... 

, consciousness, free from the limita- 

tions of the body and the fluctuations of the mind (citta). 
But in itsMgoirance it confuses itself with citta. The 
citta is the first pro Juct of prakrti, in wtiich the element 
of sattva or the piwer of manifestation natur*ily 
predominates over those of rajas and tamis. It is essen- 
tially unconscious; but being in the closest proximity 
to the self it reflects, through its manifesting p>wer, 
the self's consciousness so as to become apparently 
conscious and intelligent. It is different from manas 
which is the internal sense. When the citta is related 
to any object through manas, it assumes the form of 
that object. Tho self knows the objects of the world 
through the modifications of citta w.hich correspond to 
the forms of the objects known. Although the self 
really ifndergoes no change or modification, yet because 
of its reflection in the chinking stales anl proces&es of 
citta, the self appears to ba subject to changes and to 
pass through different states of the mind or citta, in the 
same way in which the moon appears to be moving 
when we see it reflected in the moving waves.' 

The modifications of citta, i.e. cognitive mental 

There .re Ave kind. 6lates ' are man y and varied - TheBe 
of menial modioca- may be classified under five heads, 
tiou* oroitta-irlii. , 

namely, prainana or true cognition, 

viparyaya or false cognition, vikalpa or merely verbal 

1 Vid«-Yoja.$IU., and VflU, 1 4. Cf. Sidkhya theirj of "Evolution 
of the World,' ' ant*. 


cognition, nidra or sleep, and smrti or memory. There 
are three kinds of true cognition, viz. perception, infe- 
rence and verbal testimony. These have been explain- 
ed in almost the same way as in the Sankhya. 
Viparyaya is the wrong knowledge of object^ a9 what 
they really are not and it includes doubt or uncertain 
cognitions. Vikalpa is a mere verbal idea caused by 
words, to which no real facts correspond. When you 
hear the words "Rahu's head," you have the idea of a 
distinction between Rahu and its h°ad, although really 
there is no distinction between the two, Rahu being only 
a head. Similarly, the phrase "consciousness of the 
soul" arouses the ideas of two different entities (soul 
and consciousness) related together, whereas in reality 
there is no distinction between them (soul and con- 
sciousness being identical). 1 Sleep (nidra) is another 
kind of mental modification (dtta-vrtti;. It is due to 
the preponderance of tamas in citta and the consequent 
cessation of waking consciousness and dream ex- 
periences. Tt thus stands for deep dreamiest* Bleep 
(susupti). Some philosophers think that in sound sleep 
there is no mental function or conscious state at all. 
But this is wrong. On waking from sound sleep we 
say, "I slept well," "I knew nothing," etc. Such 
memory of what took place during sleep supposes 
direct experience of the state of sleep. So there 
must be in sleep some cognitive mental state or 
process which is concerned in tho experience of the 
absence of knowledge (abhavapratyayalambana vrttil. 
Smrti or memory is the reproduction of past 

< Ytyabhint, 1.9. 


experiences without any alteration or innovation. All 
cognitive mental states and processes (citta-vrtti) may 
be included in these five kinds of modifications. We 
need not admit any other kinds of cognitive functions 
of the mind (citta-vrtti). 1 

When citta is modified into any kind of vrtti or 
„ , .. .... „ cognitive mental state, the self is 

Relahon of the felf ° 

to the mind or citta reflected in it and is apt to appro- 
snd the body. _ . . ., . . ,-.... ,.. 

pnate it as a state of itself. Hence 
it is that it appears to pass through different states of 
the mind (citta) and stages of life It considers itself 
to be subject to birth and growth , decay and death at 
different periods of time. It is led to believe that it 
sleeps and wakes up, imagines and remembers, makes 
mistakes and corrects errors, and so on. In truth, 
however, the self (purnsa) is above all the happenings 
of the body and the mind (citta), all physical and 
psychical changes, like sleeping and walking, .birth and 
death, etc. It is citta or the mind that really performs 
these functions of sleeping and waking, knowing and 
doubting, imagining and remembering. The self 
appears to be concerned in these functions because it is 
reflected in citta or the mind which is held up before it 
as a mirror before a person. It also appears to be 
subject to the live kles*as or sources of afflictions, 
namely, (i) avidya or wrong knowledge of the non -eter- 
nal as eternal, of the not-self as the self, of the 
unpleasant as the pleasant, and of the impure as pure, 
(it) asmita, i.e. the false notion or perception of the 
self a6 identical with buddbi or the mind, (Hi) raga or 
desire for pleasure and the means of its attainment, 

1 Vide Yoga-sit., BhSft/a and Vrtti, 1.6-11. 


(it) dvesa or aversion to pain and the causes thereof, 
(v) abhinive&a or tbe instinctive fear of death in all 
creatures. 1 

So long as there ate chinqes and modifications in 
citta, (he self is reflected therein 

with mudific*- native knowledge, identifies itself 

tions 8 > liberation re- _ ° 

qrirea theii cessation, with them. As a consequence, the 
self feels pleasure or pain out of 
the objects of the world, and love? or hates them accord- 
ingly. This me*ns bondage for the self. If, there- 
fore, we are to attain liberation, we must somehow 
restrain the activities of the body, tbe senses and the 
mind (manas) and finally snppres* all tbe modifications 
of citta. When the w.tves of the empirical conscious- 
ness (karya-citta) die down and leave the citta in a 
state of perfect placidity (karana-citta), the self realizes 
itself as .distinct from the mind-body complex and as 
free, immortal and eelf-shining intelligence. It is the 
aim of yoga to bring about this result through the 
cessation of tbe functions of citta. 

ITJ. Yoga Ethics 

1. The Nature and Forms of Yoga* 

Yoga here means the cessation of mental functions 
1U or modifications (cittavrttinirodba). 

Yoga is just the 

cessation of mental It does not mean any kind of con- 
tact between the individual self 
and some other reaiity like God or tbe Absolute. The 

1 Op. cit., 2 39. 

1 Yoga-tit. and Bh&iya, 1. 14, 1. 13-18, 1. 33, 9. 1.8, 4.39-34. 


aim of yoga, as we have already said, is to prevent 
the self from identifying itself with mental modifica- 
tions. But this is not possible so long as the modi- 
fications are there and the self has not realized its 
distinction from citta or the mind. So what j-o^a really 
stands for* is the arrest and negation of all mental 

There are five conditions or levels of the mental life 

(cittabhuiui). Theciita isconsiituttd 

o/^rte-'The' ty the elements of sattva, rajas and 

first three »re not tamas. Its different conditions are 
conducive to yega. 

determined by the diffeient degrees 

in which these elements are present and operative in it. 

These conditions are called ksipta or restless, mudha 

or torpid, viksijita or distracted, ekagra or concentrated, 

and uiruldha or restrained. In each of these there is 

some kind of repression of mental modifications. One 

state of the mind excludes other different stamps. Love 


and hate, for exampie, naturally oppose and cancel each 
other. .But still yoga cannot be attaii ed in all the 
levels of citta. In the first, called ksinia, the mind or 
citta is under the sway of rajas and tamas, and is 
attracted by objects of sense and the means of attaining 
power. It flits from one thing to another without 
resting in any. This condition is not at all conducive 
to yoga, because it does not help us to control the 
mind and the senses. The second, viz. mudha, is due 
to an excess of tamas in citta or the mind which, 
therefore, has a tendency towards vice, ignorance, 
sleep and the like. In the third level, called viksipta 
or distracted, the mind or citta i* free from the sway 
of tamas and has only a touch of rajas in it. It haa 


the capacity of manifesting all objects and makes for 
virtue, knowledge, eic. This is a stage of temporary 
concentration of citta or the mind on some object, 
which is followed by distraction. It cannot be called 
yoga, because it does not permanently stap the mental 
andificitions mroad our troubles and destroy the 
mental afflictions of avidya and the rest. 

The fourth level of citta is called ekagra or 

concentrated. Here citta is purged 

J?£AiA££ * «»»e imparity of rajas and there 

Sampra.aftt* and j s the psrfect manifestation of 
aaamprajfiata sanjadui. * 

sattva. It marks the beginning 

of prolonged concentration of the mind or chicta on 

any object so as to reveal its true nature, aod it 

prepares the way for the cessation of all mental 

modifications. In this state, however, the mind or 

citta continues to think or meditate on some object, 

and so, even here, the mental processes are Dot 

altogether arrested. At the last level, called niruddha, 

there is the cessation of all mental functions including 

even that of concentration which marks the previous 

stage. Here the succession of mental states and 

processes is completely checked, and the mind (citta) 

is left in its original, unmodified state of calmness and 

tranquillity. These last two levels are conducive to 

yoga in so far as both manifest the sattva element 

of the mind to the highest degree and are helpful for 

the attainment of the ultimate goal, viz. liberation. 

In fact, ekagra or the state of concentration, when 

permanently established, is called samprajuata yoga or 

the trance of meditation, in which there is a clear and 

distinct consciousness of the object of contemplation. 


It is known also as samaps-lti or samprajnata samadhi 
inasmuch as citta or the mind is, in this state, entirely 
put into the object and assumes the form of the object 
itself. So also the state of niruddha is called asam- 
piaj&at* yoga or asarhprajaata aamadhi, because all 
mental modifications being stopped in this slate, 
nothing is known or thought of by the mind. This 
is the transe of absorption in which all psychoses and 
appearances of objects are stopped and there are no 
ripples in the placid surface of citta a: the mind. Both 
these kind j of saraiidhi are known by the common name 
of samadhi-yoga or the cessation of mental modifica- 
tions, since both conduce to self-realizatioti. 

There are, then, two main kinds of yoga or 
6amadhi, viz. the samprajuata and 

There are four kioJa # <iv _ 

of 8Bdipr»;iUta eaini- the asamprajoata. Four kinds of 
'' samprajuata sataadhi are distin- 

guished according to the different objects of contempla- 
tion. It is called savitarka when the' mind (citta) is 
concentrated on any gross physical object of the exter- 
nal world, e.g. the image of a god or goddess. Hiving 
realized the nature of this object, one should concentrate 
on subtle objects like the tamuatras or subtle essences 
of the physical elements. The mind's concentration 
on these subtle objects is called savicara samadhi. 
The next step is to take some subtler objects like the 
senses and concentrate the mind (citta) on them, till 
their real nature becomes manifest to it, in what is 
called sananda samadhi. The last kind of samprajSata 
samadhi is called sasmita inasmuch as the object of 
concentration herein is asmita or the ego-substance with 
which the self is ordinarily identified. The fruition 

M— 1605B 



of this stage of concentration is the realization of the 
true nature of the ego. But it also gives us a glimpse 
of the knowing self as something almost indistinguish- 
able from the ego. 1 

Thus the mind (citta) realizes the nature of different 


objects within or without the body 

Asariipra;fiata Bami- 

dhiisyoga par excel- and leaves them behind, a one after 
* nM " the other, till it becomes com- 

pletely free from the thoughts of all objects and attains 
what is called asamprajnata samadhi or yoga par 
excellence. It puts a stop to all mental modifications 
and does not rest on any object at all. This is the 
Goal stage of samadhi, because when it is attained the 
whole world of objects ceases to affect and to exist for 
the yogin. In this state the self abides in its own 
essence as pure consciousness, enjoying the still vision 
of isolated self-sbin'ing existence. When one attains 
this state, one reaches the final goal of life, namely, 
liberation or freedom from all pain and suffering. All 
life is a quest of peace and a search for tbp means 
thereof. Yoga ib one of the spiritual paths that leads 
to the desired goal of a total extinction of ail pain and 
misery through the realization of the self's distinction 
from the body, the mind and the individual ego. But 
this final goal cannot be attained all at once. Even if 
it be possible for a self to attain once the 6tate of 
samadhi and thereby release from pain, there is the 
possibility of a relapse and consequent recurrence of 
pain, so long as all the impressions and tendencies of the 

1 Tbe final Btage of samprajft&ta is called dhannaraegba samidbi 
because it showers on the yogin the blessing of self-realization. 
Vide Yoga-tit. and BhSjya, 4.20. 


mind foitta) due to its past and present deeds are not 
wiped out. It requires a long and arduous endeavour 
to maintain oneself steadily in the state of samadhi and 
destroy the effects of the different kinds of karma, past 
and present. For this it is necessary to practise yoga 
with care' and devotion for a sufficiently long time. 
The different steps in the practice of yoga will be 
explained in the next section. 

2. The Eightfold Means of Yoga. 1 

As we have already said, a man cannot realize 
_. . . , spiritual truths so long as his mind 

There are eight r ° 

ropans of yoga called is tainted with impurities and his 
' " intellect vitiated by evil thoughts, 

[t is in the pure heart and the cleaf understanding that 
the truth of the spirit is revealed and directly experi- 
enced. The Satikhya-Yoga system holds that libera- 
tion is t to be attained by means of spiritual insight 
(prajfta) into the reality of the self as the pure immortal 
spirit which is quite distinct from the body and the 
mind. Bat spiritual insight can be had only when the 
mind is purged of all impurities and rendered perfectly 
calm and serene. For the purification and enlighten- 
ment of citta or the mind, the Yoga gives us the 
eightfold means which consists of - the disciplines of 
(1) yama or restraint, (2) niyama or culture, (3) asana 
or posture, (4) pranayama or breath-control, (6) pratya- 
hara or withdrawal of the senses, (6) dharana 6r 

' Of. Voga-tM. and Bh&tya, 2.i»-65,3.l 4. 


attention, (7) dhyana or meditation, and (8) Bamadhi 
or concentration. These are known as aids to yoga 
(yogSriga). When practised regularly with devotion 
and dispassion , they lead to the attainment of yoga, 
both samprajnata and asamprajiiata. 

The first discipline of yama or restraint consists 
in (a) uhimsa or abstention from 

to lite. _!rom falsehood, 8 at\a Ot truftltttVfteBS. VTQ foouV&A 
then, incontinence and ° 

avarice. and speech, (c) asteya or non- 

stealing, (d) brahmacarya or control 
of the carnal desires and passions, and (e) aparigraba 
or non-acceptance of unnecessary gifts from other 
people. Although these practices seem to be too well- 
known to require any elaboration, yet the Yoga explains 
all their details and insists that a yogin must scrupu- 
lously follow them. < The reason for this is obvious. 
Jt is a psychological law that a sound mind resides in a 
sound body, and that neither can be sound in the case 
of a man who does not control hie passions and 
sexual impulses. So also, a man cannot concentrate 
his attention on any object when bis mind is distracted 
and dissipated by sin and crime and other evil propen- 
sities. This explains the necessity of complete absten- 
tion from all the evil courses and tendencies of life on 
the part of the yogin who is eager to realize the self in 
Bamadhi or concentration. 

The second discipline is niyama or culture. It 

consists in (he cultivation of the 
(2> Nijema consists , ,, . , , , ., , . . 

ic ihe cultivation of following good habits : (a) sauca or 
good babiu. purification of the body by washing 

and taking pure food (which is bahyu or external puri- 


fication), and purification of the mind by cultivating 
good emotions and sentiments, such as friendliness, 
kindness, cheerfulness for the virtues and indifference 
to the vices of others (which is called abbyantara or 
internal purification), (6; sanlosa or the liabit of being 
content With what comes of itself without undue exer- 
tion, (c) t tapas or penance which consists in the habit 
of enduring cold and heat, etc., and observing austere 
vowb, (d) svadhyaya or the regular habit of study of 
religious books, and (e) IsvarapraniJhana or meditation 
of and resignation to God. 

Asana is a discipline of the body and consists 
in the adoption of steady and com- 
A«"A«, Stable postures. There are vari- 
comfortable po3t»rfB. 0U9 binds of asana, such as padma- 
sana, vhasana, bhadrfi^ana, etc. These can be properly 
learnt only under the guidance of experts. The disci- 
pline of the body is as much necessary for the attain- 
ment o£> concentration as that of the mind. If the body 
is not completely free from diseases and otber disturb- 
ing influences, it is very difficult to attain concentration. 
Hence the Yoga lays down elaborate rules for main- 
taining the health of the body and making it a fit 
vehicle for concentrated thought. It prescribes many 
rules for preserving the vital energy, and strengthening 
and purifying the body and the mind. The asanas or 
postureB recommended in it are effective ways by which 
the body can be kept partially free from diseases, and 
all the limbs, especially the nervous 6y6tem, can be 
brought under control and prevented from producing 
disturbances in the mind. 


Pranayama is the regulation of breath. It con* 

sistB in deep inspiration (puraka), 

riJniK^nhaiation! retention of breath <kuuibhaka>, 

ttoof°bwl°h PXb " 8 " and e xP' r »t» 0D (recaka) with 
measured durations. The details 
of the process should be learnt from experts. That 
respiratory exercises are useful for strengthening the 
heart and improving its function is recognized by 
medical men when they recommend walking, climbing, 
etc. in a graduated scale, for patients with weak 
hearts. The Yoga goes further and prescribes breath- 
control for* concentration of the mind, because it con- 
duces to steadiness of the body and the mind. So 
long as the function of breathing continues, the mind 
also goes on fluctuating and noticing the current of air 
in and out. If, and when, it is suspended, the mind is 
in a state of uudisturbed concentration. Hence by 
practjsing.the control of breath, the yogin can suspend 
breathing for a long time and thereby prolong the state 
of concentration. 

Pratyahara consists in withdrawing the senses 

from their respactive external 

J! E^SSfcX Ejects and keeping them under 

the sen*eB from their t h e con trol of the mind. When the 


senses are effectively controlled by 
the mind, they follow, not their natural objects, but 
the mind itself. So in this state the mind is not 
disturbed by sights and sounds coming through the eye 
and the ear, but makes these senses follow itself and 
see and bear its own object. This state is very difficult, 
although not impossible, of attainment. It requires a 
resolute will and long practice to gain mastery over 


one's senses. The above five disciplines of restraint 
and culture (yama and niyama), bodily posture (asana), 
breath-control (pranayama) and control over the 
senses (pratyahara) are regarded as tbe external aids 
to yoga (bahiranga-sadhana) . As compared with these, 
the last three disciplines are said to be internal to 
yoga (antaranga-sadhana), because they are directly 
related to some kind of eaiuadhi or yoga. These are 
dbarana dhyana and samadhi. 

Dharanfi or attention is a mental discipline which 
consists in holding fdharana) or 

£ b^Sto, X «»»« ^ ™° d («tta) on the desired 
niiDd on the desired object. The object thus attended* 

object. ' 

to may be a part of one's body, like 
one's navel, the mid-point of the eyebrows, etc., or it 
may be external to tbe body, like the moon, tbe images 
of gods, etc. Tbe ability to keep one's, attention 
steadily fixed on some object is tbe test of fitness for 
entering on the next higher stage of yoga. 

Dhyana or meditation is the next step. It means 

the even flow of thought about, 

s uV h -toVp.aUo: « "ther, round about, the 

or the object without object of attention. It is the stead- 
any break. 

fast contemplation of the object 

without any break or disturbance. This has the effect 
of giving us a clear and distinct representation of the 
object first by parts and aspects. But by long-continued 
meditation the mind can develop the partial representa- 
tion of the object into a full and live presentation of it. 
ThuB dhyana reveals the reality of the contemplated 
object to the yogin's mind. 


Samadhi or concentration is the final step in the 

practice of yoga. In it the mind ia 

&*S!K*E. I £ so deeply absorbed in the object of 

the object of coutem- contemplation that it loses itself in 

plation. r 

the object and has no awareness of 
itself. In the state of dhyana, the act and the object 
of thought remain distinct and separate -states of 
consciousness. But in samadhi the act of meditation 
is not separately cognised; it takes on the form of the 
object and loses itself, as it were. So here only the 
object of thought remains shining in the mind, and 
we do not eveu know that there is a process of thought 
in the mind. It should be observed here that this 
samidhi as a discipline is different from the samadhi 
or the yoga previously defined as "the restraint of the 
mind" (cittavrttioirodha). The former is but the 
means for the attainment of the latter which is its end. 
A long-continued practice of the one leads to the other. 
These last three steps in the practice of yoga are called 
internal means (antaranga-sadhaua). They should 
have the same object, i.e. the same object should be 
first attended to, then meditated and lastly concen- 
trated upan. When thus combined they are said to 
constitute sathyama which ia very necessary for the 
attainment of samadhi-yoga. 

A yogin is believed to acquire certain extraordinary 
powers by the practice of yoga in its 

The supernormal .._ . , _, , , , 

powers eccruing different stages. Thus we are told 

rom yo " a ' that the yogine can tame all crea- 

tures including even ferocious animals, get any object by 
the mere, wish of it, know directly the past, present and 
future, produce supernatural sights, sounds and smells 


and see subtle entities, angels and gods. They can 
also see through closed doors, pasB through stone 
walls, disappear from Bight, appear at different places 
at the same time, and so forth. While these may be 
possible, the Yoga system warns all religious aspirants 
not to practise yoga with thebe ends in view. Yoga 
is for the attainment of liberation. The yogin must 
not get entangled 'in the quagmire of supernormal 
powers. He must evercorne the lure of yaugic powers 
and move onward till he comes to the end of the 
journey, viz. liberation. ' 

IV. The Place of God in the Yoga. 2 


As distinguished from the Sankhya, the Yoga is 
theistic. It admits the existence 

The I'oga has both a 

theoretical aud a prac- of God on both practical and theo- 

tical interest in God. , , _._..... .» 

retical grounds. Patanjau himself, 
however, has not felt the necessity <jf God for solving 
any theoretical problem of philosophy. For him God 
has indre a practical value than a theoretical one. 
Devotion to God is considered to be of great practical 
value, inasmuch as it forms a part ot the practice of 
yoga and is one of the means for the final attainment 
of samadhi-yoga or " the restraint of the mind." The 
subsequent commentators and interpreters of the Yoga 
evince also a theoretical interest in God and discuss 
more fully the speculative problems as to the nature 
of God and the proofs for the existence of God. Thus 
the Yoga system has both a theoretical and a practical 
interest in the Divine Being. 

1 Vide Yoga-tit. and Bhdsya, 8 37,3. 51, 4.1. * 

1 Vide Yoga-sat., bhatya and Vftii, 1. 28.S9, 2.1, 32, 45, 9. 15. 

46— 160BB 


According to the Yoga, God is the Supreme 

Person who is above all individual 

,S\!toto££! selves and is free from all defects. 

ail-p«v»ding. omm- jj e is the Perfect Being who is 

potent and omniscient. , 

eternal and all-pervadmg, omni- 
potent and omniscient. AH individual selves are more 
or less subject to the afflictions (klesa), of ignorance, 
egoism, desire, aversion and dread of death. They 
have to do various kinds of works (karma) — good, 
bad, and indifferent — and reap the consequences 
thereof (vipaka). They are also infected and influenced 
by the latent impressions of their past experiences 
(asaya). Even if the liberated self is released from 
all these troubles, it cannot be said that he was 
always free from them. It is (rod and God alone 
who is eternally free from all defects. God is the 
perfect immortal spirit who ever remains untouched 
by afflictions atfd actions, and their effects and 
iuipreseionb (klesa-karma-vipaka-s^iyai-raparamrstah) . 
He possesses a perfect nature, the like of which is not 
to be met with anywhere else. He has also the fullest 
possible knowledge of all facts and iB, therefore, 
capable of maintaining the whole world by His mere 
wish or thought. He is the Supreme Buler of the 
world, and has infinite knowledge, unlimited power 
and wisest desires, which distinguish Him from all 
other selves. 

The existence of God is proved by the following 
The proofs of God's arguments: 

existence : ° 

The Vedas, the Upanisads and other important 
scriptures speak of the existence of God as the 


Supreme Self who iB, also the ultimate reality 
and the final goal of the world. 

tb"iJ^ D w»! imWiyof Therefore, God exists in the way 
in which the scriptures testify 

to His existence. 

According to the law of continuity, whatever 
has degrees must have a lower and 

JR^^ifirt m upper Kmit. Tbere are, for in- 
degrees of knowledge B tance, different magnitudes, small 

and power. 

and great. An atom is the smallest 
magnitude, while akas*a or space is the greatest magni- 
tude. Similarly, there are different degrees of knowledge 
and power. So there must be a person who possesses 
perfect knowledge and perfect power. Such a supreme 
person is God, the highest. There cannot be any 
self who is equal to God in power.and knowledge, for 
in that case, tbere will be conflict and clash of desires 
and purposes between them, and % consequent chaos 
in the world. 

The cieation of the world is due to the asso- 
ciation of purusa with prakrti, and 
(9) The association Us dissolution to the dissociation 

and dissociation of , „ , , 

puros* and prakrti. of the one from the other. Purusa 
and prakrti being two independent 
principles cannot be said to be naturally related or 
associated. Nor are they naturally dissociated, for 
that would make their relation inexplicable. So there 
must be an intelligent cause which effects their asso- 
ciation and dissociation, according to the unseen moral 
deserts (adrsta) of individual selves. No individual 
self can guide and control its adrsta or destiny, because 


it has no clear understanding about it. Therefore, 
there must be a perfect and an omniscient Being who 
brings about the association or dissociation between 
purusa and prakrti, according as the adrsta of the 
individual selves requires the creation or the destruction 
of a world. This Heing is God, without whose 
guidance prakrti cannot produce just that order of the 
world which is suited to the moral education and final 
emancipation of individual selves. 

Devotion to God is not only a part of the practice 

of yoga but the best means for the 

v2E?££2S£ attainment of concentration and 

ctntration and res- restraint of the mind (samadhi-yoga) . 

tramt of mind. * ° 

The reason is that God is not only 
an object cf meditation (dbyana), like other objects, 
but is the Supreme Lord who, by His grace, purge? 
away the sins and evils in the life of His devotee and 
makes the t attainment of yoga easier for him. One 
who is sincerely 'devoted to God and ie resigned unto 
Him cannot but meditate on Him at all times arid see 
Him in all the walks of life. On such a devoted 
person God bestows hiB choicest gifts, viz. purity of the 
heart and enlightenment of the intellect. God removes 
all the serious impediments and obstacles in the path 
of His devotee, such as the kles*as or afflictions of the 
mind, and places him under conditions most favourable 
for the attainment of yoga. But while the }>Tace of 
God can work wonders in our life, we, on our 
part, must make ourselves deserving recipients of it 
through love and charity, truthfulness and purity, 
constant meditation of and complete resignation 
to God. • 


V. Conclusion 

To an unsympathetic critic the Yoga may appear 
to be not so much a system of philosophy as a school 
of mysticism and magic. The Yoga conception of 
the self as a transcendent subject which is quite 
distinct from the body, the mind and the ego, is far 
removed from the common-sense and the ordinary 
psychological concepts of it. As compared with these 
the spiritual conception of the self in the Yoga is apt 
to be regarded as unintelligible and mysterious. 
Similarly, the supernormal powers associated with the 
different Btages in the practice of Yoga can hardly be 
reconciled with the known laws of the physical or 
the psychical sciences. So these may appear to be 
reminiscent of some primitive religion of magic. But 
it is to be observed that the Yoga scheme of self- 
realization has a solid foundation in the . Sankhya 
metaphysics which proves the reality of the self as a 
metaphysical and 'eternal principle of consciousness. 
If one believes in the transcendent spirit, one cannot 
but admit that there are deeper levels of consciousness 
than the empirical one. and wider possibilities and 
higher potencies than those of the physical and the 
sensuous. Glimpsen of this deeper reality of our 
individual life have been caught not only by the seers 
and saints of different countries, but also by some 
great philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, Spinoza 
and Leibniz, Eant and Hegel. The Society for 
Psychical Iteseareh and the modern school of Psycho- 
analysis have of late contributed much towards our 
knowledge about the dark regions of the 'psychical 


life, hidden from the ordinary view. The Yoga goes 
farther in the same direction when it formulates 
certain practical methods of purification and self-control 
for the realization of the true Belt of man. Both 
from a theoretical and a practical standpoint,, it occupies 
a better position than the Sankhya in so far as it 
admits the existence of God and relies raostlj on actual 
experiences to carry conviction to its followers. What 
is necessary for an appreciation of this philosophy is 
a sympathetic understanding of it and a sincere 
endeavour to realize its truths. We find one such 
appreciation of it by Miss Coster when she says: "I 
am certain that there is a region beyond that painted 
drop-scene which forms for so many the boundary of 
this life; and that it is penetrable and susceptible of 
exploration by those who are sufficiently determined." 1 

Yoga and Western Psychology, pp. 346-47. 




Kumarila Bhatta 
Ganganath Jha 




Pas'upatinath Sastri 

S. Badhakrisbnan 
A. B. Keith 

Mimdmsd-sutra (with 
Sahara's BhdSya) 


Mimdmsd-sutra of Jaimini 
(Bng. trans., Allahabad). 

tiloka-vdrtika (Eng. trans.). 

Prabhdkara School of Purva 

Sdstra-dipikd, Tarkapada, 
(Nirnaya Sagar, Bombay). 

Prakarana-paiicikd (Chow- 
khamba, Benares). 

Introductibn to the Purva 
Mimdmsd (Calcutta). 

Indian Philosophy, Vol. II, 
Ch. VI. 

Karma Mimdmsd. 


I. Introduction 

We have noticed in the General Introduction that 
the Purva Mimamsa School or the 

The MtmSmai deve- «,. - - „ , . ... 

loped out of the ritu-il- Mimamsa School, as it is more 

cult C ure PeCt9 ° f VediC U9uall y call ed, is the outcome of 
the ritualistic side of the Vedic 
culture just as the Vedanta (sometimes called also 
Uttara Mlmiimsu) is the development of its speculative 
side. The object of the Mimauisa School is to help 
and support ritualism chiefly in two 

Its doubli; achieve- 
ment : Methodology ways, namely, (a) by giving a 

p i osop y. methodology of interpretation with 

the help of which the complicated Vedic injunctions 
regarding rituals may be understood, harmonized and 
followed without difficulty, and (b) by supplying a 
philosophical justification of the beliefs on which 
ritualism depends. We are concerned here with the 
second or the philosophical aspect of the Mimamsa. 

The faith underlying Vedic ritualism consists of 
, , different elements such as belief in 

As a philo»opby, tho 

Mim&disft tries to up- the existence of a soul which sur- 
hold Vedic ritualism. viveg death and eQJoyB thfi fruits of 

rituals in heaven, the belief in some power or potency 
which preserves the effects of the rituals performed, 
the belief in the infallibility of the Vedas on which 
rituals stand, the belief that the world is 'real aud 

46— 1606B 


our life and actions performed here are not mere dreams. 
The Buddhists, Jainas and CarvSkas challenge the 
authority of the Vedas. The reality of the world 
and the existence of the soul are denied by some 
Buddhists. Some Upanisads disparage the idea that 
' heaven ' is the goal of man and rituals are ' the best 
possible human activities. The Mimamsa tries to 
meet all such criticisms and upholds the original faith 
underlying ritualism. 

Jaimini's Sutra laid the foundation of the PQrva 
Mimamsa. Sabarasvami wrote the 

Literature. , -,, . 

major commentary or Bhasya on 
this work. He is followed by a long line of comrcen- 
ttvtors and independent writers. The two most 
important among them are Kumarila Bhatta and 
Prabhakara (nicknamed 'Guru '), who founded the 
two schools of Mlmariisa, known after their names. 
Thus the Mimamsa philosophy gradually developed. 
Ety rnologieally, the word Mimamsa means ' solution 
of some problem by critical examination of grounds.' 
As its subject-matter was karma or rituals, the 
Mimamsa is also sometimes called Karma Mimamsa. 

The philosophy of the Mlmariis5 School may be con- 
veniently discussed under three heads, namely, Theory 
of Knowledge, Metaphysics, and Ethics and Theology. 

II. The Mimimsi Theory of Knowledge 

In its attempt to justify the authority of (he Vedas, 
„...., , . the Mlmathsa came to discuss very 

Mimamsa a contri- J 

bution to the theory of elaborately the nature of knowledge, 

knowledge. lt , . . , . 

the nature and criterion of truth 
as well as of falsity, the different sources of valid 


knowledge (pramanas) and other cognate problems. 
The epistemology of the Mfmamsa deala with some 
very interesting problems. Other schools, specially the 
Vedanta, freely draw upon the Mimarhsa in epistemo- 
logical matters. We shall notice here very briefly some 
of the peculiar and important things. 
1. The Nature and Sources of Knowledge 

The Mimamsa, like most oth^r schools, admits 
two kinds of knowledge, immediate and mediate. 
Valid knowledge is one which yields some new informa- 
tion about something, is not 
knowiej g r anitlB ef contradicted by any other know- 
ledge and is not generated by defec- 
tive conditions (such as defective t sense-organ in the 
case of perceptual knowledge, fallacious premises in the 
cases of inference, etc.).' # • 

The object of immediate knowledge must be some- 

Innate know' thin S existin S (8at >- 0nl y wheD 

ledge .its two stagei such an object is related to sense 
of development — in- 
determinate and deter- (one of the five external senses and 
mma « percep ioD«. the internal 6ense, manas), there 

arises in the soul an immediate knowledge about it. 
When an object is related to sense, at first there arises 
a bare awareness of the object. We simply know that 
the object is, but have not yet understood what it is. 
This primary, indeterminate, immediate knowledge is 
called nirvikalpaka pratyaksa or alocana-jnana. When 
at the next stage we interpret the meaning of this 

1 Vidt Sittra-diptki on J»imini'8 Sulfa, 1 1 . 5. 


object in the light of our past knowledge and come to 
understand what it is, that is, what class it belongs to, 
what quality, activity and name it possesses, we have 
a determinate (savikalpaka) perception, which iB ex- 
pressed by judgments like 'This is a man,' 'This has a 
stick,' 'This is white,' 'This is moving,' 'This is 
Earn.' 1 

Perception, thus completed in two stages, gives 
us a real knowledge of the world 
in T X°£ t8 »r k e n r, ^posed of different objects, 
and possess diverse Though at the first stage the objects 
are not known explicitly, all that 
we know about them at the second stage are implicitly 
known even at first. In understanding tbe object at 
the second stage, tbe mind only interprets, in tbe light 
of past experience, what is given at first ; it does not 
ascribe to it any imaginary predicate. For if we did 
rot perceive at first a man, a white one, etc., how 


could we judge later tbat it was a man, it was white, 
etc., and tbat it was not a cow and not black, etc. 
Hence it must be admitted that perception, inspite of 
containing an element of interpretation, is not 
necessarily imaginary and illusory as some Bauddhas 
and some Vedantins hold. Neither is it true that what 
we are immediately aware of, before the mind inter- 
prets, is a purely unique particular (svalaksana) without 
any distinguishing class character (as those Bauddbas 
hold), or is pure existence without any differentiating 
property (as those Vedantins say). The world of diverse 
objects with their different characteristics are given to the 

'* Ibid., and Sloha-virtika on 1. 1. 4. 


mind at the very first moment when we become aware 
of them. 1 

2. Non-perceptual Sources of Knowledge 

In addition to perception, there are five other valid 

80urce6 of knowledge, admitted by 

£1!£Ed Sow- the Mlmamsa, namely, inference 

ledge, while BhiHss ^ auU maDa), comparison (upamana), 

authority or testimony fsabda), 

postulation (art hapatti) and non-perception (ann- 

palabdhi). The last one is admitted only by the school 

of Euirurila. Bhatta and not by that of Frabhakara. 

The Mfmaihsa theory of inference i6 more or lew 

similar to that of the Nyaya and need not be mentioned 

here. We shall discuss the other four non-perceptual 

sources of knowledge. • 

(i) Comparison (npamapa; • 

It has been previously seen that the Nyaya admits 
comparison as a unique source of 

The Mimsmeft con- • , -, — . .-, ■»,. - . . 

ceiveB upamftna in a knowledge. But the Mimanm, 
way different from the though accepting comparison as an 

'ndependent source, accepts it in 
quite a different sense. According to it, knowledge 
arises from comparison when, on perceiving a present 

object to be like an object perceived 
£S%% an .bS ™ the past, we come to know that 
object is obtained by t j ie remembered object is like the 

comparison. ' 

perceived one. Some examples will 
make thU clear. On seeing a rat one perceives that 

1 Vide Prakara^a-paHei1ti, pp. 64 B5. 


it is like a mouse perceived in the past, and thence 
be gets the knowledge, that the remembered mouse 
is like the perceived rat. This knowledge, namely, 
'that mouse, perceived in the past, is like this rat,' 
is obtained from comparison, or from the ^knowledge 
of a similarity of the rat to the mouse. Similarly 
one who has seen a cow previously at home, goes to 
a forest and finds a gavaya (nilgai) and perceives its 
similarity to the cow at home. He may thence obtain 
by comparison (i.e. by the knowledge of this similarity) 
the further knowledge that the cow at home 19 like 
the gavaya. 1 

Such knowledge cannot be classed under perception. 
For, the object (the mouse or the 

not C be , °5£d ge nStt cow ) k r> ov ™ to be similar is not 
perception, memory, perceived then. It does not come 

inference or testimony. • r 

under memory, because though the 
object was perceived in the past, its similarity to the 
present object was not then known ; and, therefore, 
this similarity cannot be said to be simply remembered. 
It is not also an inference. Fro r n a knowledge like 
'this gavaya is like the cow at home' we cannot infer 
'the cow at home is like this gavaya,' unless we have 
another premise like 'all things are similar to other 
things which are similar to them." And such a 
universal premise containing an invariable concomi- 
tance between two terms is not really used in the above 
case where one arrives at the knowledge of the absent 

1 The Mimamsa view of upam&na is fully dismissed in Sloka-virtika, 
Saslradipika (1. 1. 8) and Prakarona-paficiki and briefly in Sjbara- 
bh&fyo on 1. 1. 6. 

1 Vide 'Saitra-dipiki, 1. 1. 5. 


cow's similarity to the present gavaya, from the percep- 
tion of the gavaya being similar to 

Hence it is given a the CQW >A j n such knowledge 
separate place. ° " 

does not obviously arise from 

verbal testimony or authority. Hence it is given an 

independent place. 

The Nyaya holds that on learning from an authority 

that a gavava is like a cow, a 
Why the Nyaya . 

view of upamao* i« person goes to a forest, perceives 

ontena e. gome animal like the cow and 

thence he has by upamana or comparison the know- 
ledge that such an animal is a gsivaya. Against this 
Nyaya view it is pointed out by Mimarijsaka writers 
that the knowledge that the particular animal perceive* 
is like the cow is derived from perception and the 
knowledge that such an animal looking like the cow 
is a gavaya is obtained through recollection of what 
was previously learned from some authority. Lastly, 
the knowledge that this particular animal is a gavaya, 
is a mere inference from the last knowledge. Hence 
what the Nyaya considers to be derived from a new 
source, namely comparison, is not really so. 1 

It may be noted here that though the account given 

above is the one generally accepted 

Sahara seems to by later Mimarhsakas, Sabarasvfimi 2 

treat upamiDa as 8et!ms to understand upamuna as, 

analogical arctimcot id , . . n j • xit a 1 

general. what is called in Western logic 

analogical argument. The existence 

of another self is proved, he remarks, by an argument like 

this. "Just us you feel the existence of your own self, 

similarly by analogy you can believe that others also feel 

'• Vida Prakarana-pafictki. For a critical discussion of 'npamSna,' 
tide D. M. Dttta, The Six Ways of Knowing, Bk. II. 
* Vide his Bhiffa ou Jaim. tut., 1. 1. 5. 


the existence of their own selves." Suoh an argument he 
calls upamana. Sahara's definition of upamaaa as *know- 
ledge of an unperceived object as beiag similar to some 
known object,' is not iaco«ipatible with the suggestion that 
he takes upamaaa as analogical argument. 

It should also be rememberod that 'similarity' (sadrsya), 
which is the object of uoamana is 
Similarity is not a regarded by the Mimamsa as an 
Sfti U 0r a ft 8e U D«ate ^dependent category of reality. It is 
category. pointed out that similarity cannot be 

called a quality (guna), because a 
quality cannot be possessed by another quality ; but 'simi- 
larity' is possessed by qualities even. It cannot be 
treated as a universal (samanya or jati). Because a 
• universal means something which is exactly identical in 
many individuals (e g. cowness in cows). Similarity does 
not mean any completely indentical character. 

», (t'O Authority or Testimony (sabda) 

The Mimamsa pays the greatest attention to this 
source of knowledge, because it has to justify the 
authority of the Vedas. 

An intelligible sentence yields knowledge except 


when it is known to be the state- 
Two kinds of author- 
ity : Personal and ment of an Unreliable ..person 

impsreona . (anaptat-vakya) . This is known as 

verbal testimony or simply testimony (sabda)' or author- 
ity. There are two kinis of authority— personal 
(pauraseya) and impersonal (apauruseya). The first 
consists in the written or spaken testimony of some 
person. The second denotes the 
.iter's ,o a ut° r of y ia? authority of the Vedas. Again, 
formation or a source authority may either give infor- 

of command. t rf 

mation as to the existence of 
objects (siddhartha-vakya) or give directions for the 
performance of some action (vidhayaka-vakya). The 
Mimamsa 1 is interested primarily in the impersonal 


authority of the Vedas and that again, because the 
Vedas give directions for perforrn- 

The Vedas are • 

valued by the Miraaih- ing the sacrificial rites. The Vedas 

i"e th ? ass are io ° ked «p° n as the B °° k ° £ 

ment8 - ., Commandments ; and therein lies 

their value. The Mlmathsa even holds that as the 
sole use of- the Vedas lies in directing ritual*, any part 
of them which does not contain such direction but gives 
information about the existence of anything is useless, 
unless it can be shown at least to serve the purpose 
of persuading persons to follow the injunctions for 
performing rituals. 1 The attempt is constantly made, 
therefore, to show all existential sentences (regarding 
the soul, immortality, etc.) as indirectly connected 
with some commandment, by way of persuading people 
to perform some ritual or dissuading them from for- 
_,. .. .. ,. bidden activity. This attitude of 

Tn« ritualistic prag- J 

matiBra of ihe Mi- the Mimamsa reminds us bf modern 


Pragmatism which holds that 
every type of knowledge — ordinary, scientific or philo- 
sophical — is valuable only in so far as it leads to some 
practical activity. The Mnnaiiisii philosophy may be 
called ritualistic pragmatism, for according to it the 
value of Vedic knowledge is for ritualistic activity. 

According to most of the pro-Vedic schools, the 

authority of the Vedas lies in their 
The Vedas are not thf> . , .. , _ , _ , , 

work of any person; being the words of God. But the 

the, are eternal. Miinaibsa, which does not believe 

in any Creator or Destroyer of the world, believes 
that the Vedas, like the world, are eternal. 2 They 

1 Vide Jaim. lit. 1. 3. 1. and I. '-'. 7 aud Sabara-bh&tya thereon. 
> Ibid., Adhtkarenan. fi-8, Chop. I. 

47— 1606B , 


are not the work of any person, human or divine. 
Hence the authority of the Veda s is said to be imper- 
sonal. Elaborate arguments are 
Argumeuts to prove a <j V anced to support this view; 

this view. * r 

namely, that no author of, the Vedas 
is known, that the names of sages that occur in the 
Vedic hymns are those of the seers or the expositors or 
the founders of the different Vedic schools (sampra- 
dayas), and not the authors, and so on. But the 
most important argument, possessing philosophical 
importance, is that based on the famous theory that 
the word-sound heard is only the perceptible sign of 
a real word (sabda) which is eternal. 1 The chief 
reason in support of this view is that if the spoken 
word were the real word, then ten different pronuncia- 
tions of the word 'cow' would make as many different 
words. We could not then say that the same word 
had been spoken fere times. We must admit, then, 
that the real word 'cow' (which is admitted to be the 
same though uttered by different persons) is v>ot pro- 
duced by its pronunciations but is only revealed by 
uhem. Unless we take different pronunciations of a 
word as the vocal representations of one identical basic 
word, all of them could not convey the same meaning. 
The real word is not, therefore, produced by the 
speakers, but only manifested by their speech. Being 
unproduced, the real word is eternai. Therefore, the 
relation between tbe real word and its meaning is also 
natural and eternal, not conventional. 2 

1 Jaim. sat., 1.1.6; Sastro-dipika, 1.1.5; Sloka-vSrtika, 8phot»-vad». 
' Jaim. fit. 1.1.6. For an elaborate discussion of the theory of eternal 
wordB (Spbo(a), vide D. M. Datta, The Six Ways of Knowing, JJk. VI. 


The Vedas consist of puch eternal, basic words; 
I he written or the pronounced Vedas are only the re- 
velations of the eternal Vedas. It follows also from 
this and the other grounds cited above that the Vedas 
are not coin posed by any person. 

The infallibility of the authority of the Vedas rests 
• on the fact that they are not vitiat- 

f.lUbl V ° d *" '" iU " ed b y an * (lefects t0 which the w«* 
of imperfect persons is subject. 

But in addition to the impersonal v T edic authority, 

i he testimony of a reliable person 

«Sbw£Z?i* a.,: W*> a '«° is Mceptel by the 
a source of valid Mlmarhsa as a valid source of 

knowledge. ™ "" 

knowledge. There is, however, a 
special value attached to Vedic authority, because the 
knowledge of the commandments (djiarma) which we 
have from it is not to 1)3 obtained from any other 
source, huch as perception and inference. While the 
knowledge that personal authority may impart to ns 
• can be sometimes obtained otber- 

Bnt the knowledge . , . 

of duty is obtainable wise by perception, inference, etc. 

onl, from the Vedas. an( j ij( itse]f baged OQ guch previotffe 

knowledge, the knowledge derived fro r n the Vedas is 

neither obtainable otherwise nor dependent on any 

previous knowledge, the Vedas being eternal. 

In reply to those who try to reduce all knowledge 

derived from testimony to infer- 

autbority is not de- ence on the ground that the vali- 
pendent on inference. dUy of such know l edge j s ascer . 

tained by inference based on the reliability of authority, 
the Mlmamsa makes au important reply. It asserts 
that the validity of every knowledge is assured by the 


conditions which generate that knowledge, so that 
the knowledge imparted by author- 

ifsX r LKu e ?h g . Cb, ity, 'like every other knowledge, 

carries with itself such assurance 

of its own truth. We shall see later on the full 


reasons in support of this view. 

(in) Postulation (arthapatti) 

Postulation ' (arthapatti) is the necessary supposi- 

Postuiation is the tion of an «n perceived fact which 
necessary supposition a \ Qnc can explain a phenomenon 

of an uspeicerted fact r l 

to explain some con- that demands explanation. When 

dieting phenomena. , , 

» a given phenomenon is such that 

we cannot understand it in any way without supposing 
Bome other fact, we have to postulate this other fact 
by way of explainiLg the phenomenon. This process 
of explaining an otherwise inexplicable phenomenon 
by the affirmation of the explaining fact is called 
arthapatti.* Thus when a man, who. is growing fat, 
is observed to fast during the day, we find an apparent 
contradiction between his growing fatness and his 
fasting. We cannot in any way reconcile these two 
facts, namely, fatness and fasting, unless we admit 
that the man eats at night. That the man must eat 
at night explains the complex whole of apparently 

1 It is difficult to find an exact word in English for 'arthapatti.' 
Postulation in the Kantian Bcnse has a close similarity to ' arthapatti.' 
A demand for explanation underlies the use of this method, and ' postu- 
late ' in Latin means ' demand.' 

1 Vide Sabara-hh&tya, 1- 1. 5. Sloka-virtika, Sittra-dipiH ' and 
PrakeranapaHciki on Arthapatti. for critical discussion, ride p. M. 
Datts, The Stir Ways o] Knowing, Bk. V. 


conflicting factB, namely, fasting attended with in- 
creasing fatness. 


Knowledge obtained in this way is distinctive 
because it is not reducible to percep- 

Knowledge bo ob- . . . 

ta:ned doe»«iot come tion or inference; and it is not, of 

?°«nce PerMpti0n M iD ' courfie . a caBe of testimony or com- 
• parison. Such knowledge cannot 

be explained as perception, since we do not see tbe man 
eat at night. Nor is it a case of inference, because 
there is no invariable concomitance (vyapti) between 
fatness and eating at night, so that we cannot say that 
whenever there is fatness there is eating at night, as 
we can say that wherever there is smoke there is Are. 
Though we are not ordinarily aware of it, we. 

employ this method of arthapatti 
The use of tliie .. ... ... ™ 

method of knowledge very often in daily life. Some 

is very frequent in life. e xamples „j|]' make this clear. 

When we call on a friend and do not^find biao at home, 
though we are sure that he is alive, we say : 'He must 
be Bomswbere outside home.' This last supposition is 
made by us because this alone can explain bow a man 
who is alive cannot be at home. This method is afeo 
largely used by us in the interpretation of language. 
When some words are omitted in a sentence, we suppose 
those words without which tbe meaning implied by 
the context cannot be explained. On reading or 
hearing a sentence like '6hut up,' we supply (by 
arthapatti) the words 'your lips,' because without them 
the meaning is incomplete. Similarly, when the 
pripiary meaning of a word does not suit the context, 
we suppose a secondary or figurative meaning which 
alone can explain the sentence. For example, when 


we are told, 'Industry is the key to success,' we 
suppose that the meaning of 'key' here must be 
'means' and not a real key. 

Mfmamsakas distinguish between two kinds of 
postulation, that which ia employed 

Two kinds of postu- . 

lation distinguished by t° explain something which is 
imam* as. perceived (drstarthapatti), such as 

fatness in a man who is fasting by day, and that which 
is used to explain the meanings of words heard 
(srutarthapatfci), such as those cited above. 
' It will be found that arthapatti resembles a hypo- 
thesis as understood in Western 

The distinction be- . Ti , ... 

twecn peculation aud logic. It appears to be like an 
h*. thesis, explanatory hjpothesis. But the 

difference is that it lacks the tentative or provisional 
character of a hypothesis. What is known by arthapatti 
is not simply hypothetical^ supposed or entertained, 
but is belipved in as the only possible explanation. As 
arthapatti arises out of a demand for explanation, it is 

different from a syllogistic inference 
The distinction be- ., t ■ * * i_- l. ■ ^ ij 

tween postulation and the object of which is to conclude 
deduction. from gjven facts and n(jt to exp l ain 

given facts Arthapatti is a search for grounds, 
whereas an inference is a search for consequents. 

(iv) Anupalabdhi or non-perception 

According to the Bhatta Munaihsa and the Advaita 
Vedanta, non-perception (anupalab- 

Non-peroeption yields ,....., » j- .„ 

au immfedute know- dhi) is the source of our immediate 

ledge of non-e*isi*nce. co g n ition of the non-existence • of 

an object. The question here is : How do I know the 

non-existence, say, of a jar on the table before me? 

tsb MiMiAsi philosophy 375 

It cannot be said that 1 perceive it with my senses, 
because non-existence is a negative 

Such knowledge can , , . • . 

be obtained neither tact which cannot stimulate any 

from perception, ^^ ag ft positive fact Hke the 

table caiy^ The Bbattas and the Advaitins hold, there- 
fore, lhat the non-exiEtence of the jar on 1he table is 
known frgm the absence of its cognition, that is, from 
its non-perception (anupalabdhi). I judge that the jar 
does not exist on the table because it is not perceived. 
It cannot be said that the non-exisi.cnce of the jar is 
inferred from its non-perception, 
nor from inference For . ( gucll an inference is possible, 

if we already possess the knowledge of a universal 
relation between non-perception and non-existence, that 
is, if we know that when an object is not perceived it 
does not exist. Thus it would be begging the question 
or assumption of the very thing which was sought to be 
proved by inference. Nor can we explain the 'knowledge 
of the jar's non-existence by comparison or testimony, 
since ?,t is not due to any knowledge of similarity or 
of words and sentences. Hence to explain the direct 
knowledge of the jar's non-existence we have to 
recognize non-perception tanupalabdhi; as a separate 
and an independent source of knowledge. 1 

It should, however, be remarked here that all non- 
perception does not prove the non- 
All non perception , , , . • t ■ ^ 

does not pro™ non- existence ol what is not perceived. 

tx " ,tence We do not s&e a table in the dark, 

nor do we perceive any such supersensible entities as 

'* Vtdt Sloka-vdrtika, Sislra-dipikd arid Vedanta-paribhafli on 
Anupalttbilbi. For further critical dijcuMion, oide The Sue Ways of 
Knowing, hk. III. 


atoms, ether, virtue, vice. Yet we do not judge them 
to be non-existent. If a thing should have been per- 
ceived under certain circumstances, then only its non- 
perception under those circumstances is a proof of its 
non-existence. It is this appropriate non-perception 
(yogyanupalabdhi) that is the source of our knowledge 
of non-existence. 

3. The Validity of Knowledge 

[Whenever there are sufficient conditions for the 

generation of a particular kind 

j£ Son? of knowledge (and, therefore, no 

knowledge arises with grounds for doubt or disbelief are 

a belief in its truth. . 

••=.,. Known), there arises at once that 

kind of knowledge containing an element of belief in 
the object known. For example, when our normal eyes 
light on an object conveniently situated in broad day- 
light, there is visual perception ; when we hear some 
one speak a meaningful sentence, we have knowledge 
from his testimony. When there are sufficient 
premises, inference takes peace. That we act on such 
knowledge in everyday life as soon as we have it, 
without any attempt to test its validity by argument, 
shows that we believe in it as soon as it arises ; and 
the fact that such knowledge leads to successful activity 
and not to any contradiction shows further that such 
knowledge is valid. When, however, the conditions 
required for the generation of that kind of knowledge 
are known to be defective or wanting (if, for ex- 
ample, the eyes are jaundiced, light is insufficient, 
premises are doubtful or words are meaningless, etc.) 
no such knowledge arises ; neither, therefore, does any 
belief arise, so long as the grounds for- 'doubt and 


disbelief do not disappear. From these facts two 
conclusions are drawn by the Mimamsa : (a) The 
validity of knowledge arises from) 
JS&Z*t£*L tte *** conditions that give rise 
its validity »nd behef t0 that knowledge, and not from 

in lbs validity* ° _ 

any extra conditions (pramanyam 

svatah utnidyate). (b) The validity of a knowledge 

is also believed iu or known as soon as the knowledge 

arises; belief does not await the verification of the 

knowledge by some other knowledge, '•ay, an inference 

(pramanyam svatah jfiayate ca). This Mimamsa view, 

in its double aspect, is known as the theory of intrinsic 

validity (svatah-pramanya-vada) .' 

Truth is self-evident according to this view. Whenever 

_, , . ., . . . any knowledge arises, it carries with it 
Truth is self-evident. J ° , ' ., . ,, 

an assurance aoout its own truth. 

Sometimes another knowledge may (joint out that this 

assurance is misleading, or that the conditions of the 

knowledge are defective. In such a case we infer from 

the exisience of defective conditions the falsity of that 

knowledge. Thus the falsity of a 
But falsity is known ,k Q0W | e <ige is ascertained by inference, 
y i crencj. while truth is self-evident. To put 

the whole position simply, belief is normal, disbelief is an 
exception. As perception, inference and any othe« 
knowledge arise, we implicitly accept them, believe in them 
without further argument, unless we are compelled by 
some contrary evidence to doubt their validity or to infer 
their falsity. Oa this unsuspecting faith in our knowledge 
our life runs smoothly. 

Against the Nyaya theory that validity is generated by 

some extra conditions (such a-t sound- 

If truth were to be neas of organs), over and above the 

mm[ there would* be" ordinary conditions which generates 

an iafiuite regress. knowledge, the Mimurhsa points out 

that those extra conditions really form 
a part of the normal conditions of that knowledge! without 

1 Sloka-virtika , 9. 1. 1 and Sarva-dariana, on Jaimini system. 
48— 1606B 


them there would be no belief and, therefore, no know- 
ledge at ajl. Against the Njfiya view that the validity of 
every knowledge is ascertained by inference, the Mimfuhsa 
points out that this would lead us to an infinite regress 
and activity wouid be impossible. If any knowledge, say, 
.a perception, before being acted upon were to ,pe verified 
by an inference, then by the same Nyaya rule that infer- 
ence also would have to be verified by another inference 
and so on ; and there would have been no" end to this pro- 
cess of verification and life would have been impossible. 
As soon as we perceive a tiger we run away, as soon as we 
infer the approach of a car from its horn we guard our 
steps; if we are to wait for verifying our knowledge with 
the never-ending series of inferences, we would have to 
wait for ever before we could act on any knowledge. It is 
true that when there iB any positive cause for doubt re- 
garding any knowledge, we take the help of verifying infer- 
ence; but that only does the negative work of removing 
the obstacles that stand in the way of knowledge. After the 
obstacles are removed, knowledge arises out of its own 
usual conditions, if present there, and along with it arise 
its validity and belief in its validity. If that verifying in- 
ference is unable to remove doubt, then that knowledge 
does not arise at all. 

• Belief" in authority, personal or impersonal, Vedic or 
non-Vedic, arises in a similar way. On hearing a meaning- 
ful sentence we at once believe in wha\; it says unless there 
are reasons for doubt or disbelief. Therefore, authority 

„, ± .. , ,, of the eternal, impersonal Vedas also 
, The truth of the „ t j .. , T , ,-j . . 

Vfcdas, therefore. i» stands on its own legs. Its validity is 
self-evident. self-evident and not dependent on 

inference. Arguments are necessary 
for the negative work of clearing the mind of doubts. 
This being done, the Vedtis themselves reveal their own 
meanings and belief invariably accompanies the under- 
standing of these meanings. To secure this belief all that 
the Mimiimsii does is to refute the possible grounds on 
which the infallibility of the Vedas may be doubted, and 
thus to prepare the mind for the immediate acceptance of 
what is known from the Vedas. 

4. What is Error? 
If truth is self-evident and every knowledge claims, 
truth, how does error arise? The problem of error has 


been discussed threadbare by every Indian School. 

Tll The Prf.bhakaras 1 bold that every 

>. d,i"ed r, by P KS C «! k °owledge is true, that nothing false 

karnB. fiver appears in any knowledge. Even 

in a so-called case of error like the 
mistaking of a rope for a Berpent, we have a mixture of two 
different kinds of knowledge, the perception of a long 
tortuous tfrtng and the memory of a serpent perceived in 
the past, and each of these is true. Only owing to lapse 
of memory t we forget that the serpent is a thing perceived 
in the pa?t ; and the distinction between the perceived and 
rem« mbered objects is not observed; we behuve towards 
the rope as we should towards a serpent. It is this 
behaviour which is faulty. The cognitive defect here is a 
lapse of memory fsrrrti-pramcsa) or its effect, non- 
discrimination (vivekugraha). This is negative and is 
surely not the same thing as error, wbich means not 
merely a want of knowledge but a positive mental state. 
This Prabhiikara theory of error is technically known .ni^ 
akhyat<-vuda or denial of illusory appearance. The. 
Bba{.tas do not accept this theory. 2 They point out that 
mere non-discrimination cannot explain error. We can- 
not deny that sometimes the illusory object appears 

positively before us. No one can 

It is admitted by d ^y that if the eye-ball is pressed 

Bh§tta«, but explain- while looking at th» moon,*tvvo moons 

ed aa due to wrong re- positively appear before us. The 

lationofwal objects. t scrpent illusion is also similar. In 

explanation of error, the Bhattas 
point out that when we perceive a ?nake in o rope and 
judge ''This is a serpent," both the subject and the predj- 
■ cate are real. The existing rope is brought under the 
serpent-class which also exists in the world. Error consists, 
however, in relating these two really existing but separate 
things in the subject-predicate way. Error always attaches 
to such wrong relation (sarhsarga), and not to the objects 
related which are always real. Even in the moon illusion 
two real parts of npnce perceived are attributed to the real 
moon perceived, and by such wrong relation the one. moon 
appears to be in two places. Such wrong judgment makes 

1 Vtde Prakara^a-paliciki, pp. 91-TK. 
* 8»ilt+diplM, 1. 1. ». 


. one behave in a way which is the reverse of the right one. 
This Bhsfta theory of error is, therefore, known as viparita- 
kbyati-vada or the view that error jb reversal of right 
behaviour (akuryasya tfirjataya bhanam). 

Thus we find that the Prabhakaras exempt all know- 
ledge from error, but the Bha$(aa 

or«TO)rtion8l bD h™t 1 admit that error mav affeot Bome 
menoo. 0n * P 6D<H cognitive relations of objects, though 

the objects themselves are always 
oorrectly perceived. But according to both, error chiefly 
affects our activity rather than knowledge. Moreover, error 
is rather an exceptional case of the falsification of the nor- 
mal claim that every knowledge makes for truth. On the 
acceptance of this claim alone our everyday life becomes 
possible. Therefore, the falsification of the truth-claim in 
6ome cases does not affect the normal acceptance of it. 

Ill MiMiftsi Metaphysics 
1. General Outlook 


Depending on the validity of sense-perception the 

TheMimamsa be- Mimamsa believes' in the reality of 
lieves in the reality of the world w ; th all itg di vers6 objects, 
tqe perceived world, • 

an t d of other obieots. It rejects, therefore, the Buddhistic 
theory of voidness an<l momentariness, as well as the 
Advaita theory of the unreality of the phenomenal 
world. In addition to objectB perceived it comes to 
believe, through other Bouvces of knowledge, in souls, 
heaven, hell and deitisa to whom sacrifice is to be 
performed, according to the Vedic commandments. 
The souls are permanent, eternal 

which "'are"* eternai Bubstances, and so also are the 
spiritual Bitatancet. ma t«. r ia.l elements by the com- 
bination of which the world is made. The law of 


karma is thought sufficient to guide the formation of 
the world. The world is composed of (a) living bodies 
wherein the bouIs reap the consequences of their past 
deeds (bhogayatana), (b) the 
JSXfiLfli **™*y «* ^otor organs, i.e. the 

««cord«nce with the iudriyas, which are instruments 
moral law of karma. J 

, for suffering or enjoying those 

consequences (bhoga-sadhana), and (c) the objects 
which constitute the fruits to be suffered or enjoyed 
(bbogya-visaya). No necessity is feit for admitting 
the existence of God. Some Mimamsakae ' believe* 
like the Vaifesikas in the atomic theory. But the 
difference is that, according to the Mimamsa, atoms do 
not require, for their arrangement in the world? afi 
efficient cause like God. The autonomous law of 
karma independently regulates the atoms to form the 
kind of world deserved by the soulfe. 

The Mimamsa metaphysics is then, ploralistic 

and realistic. It is not empiricism, 

Jhr^r'Titft because »* believes in the non- 

sopoy ;b pluralism ind 

r»»iwm. but not em- empirical Vedic source of knowledge 

pirinsm. r ° 

which is thought even to be more 
dependable than sense-experience * and also because it 
believes in many realities like potential energy, the 
unseen moral principle, heaven, hell, etc. , which cannot 
he known through sense-experience. 

' Not all (ride Sloha-t&rUUa, Chap, oti Inftrtuce, wuc 188! Foi 
argontenta in support ot .itoinUm. vidt PrabliSfcofa-tijeyo. 

1 In f*ct, Kumtrita observes (in Sioka-eSrtifea , v«i«e 72,1.1 % 
that the fact that the Vrdaa contradict ordinary empirical knowledge 
ia a proof of their mipenrr authority. 


2. The Theory of Potential Energy {iakti and ap&na) 

In connection with the question of causation the 
Mimamsa, formulates the theory 

«£■;!£ T£ of p° tential ener sy < fokt, v A 

doces the effect when ^ei possesses in it an rmpercep- 

it >• not obstructed. ' 

tible power (s*akti) with the help of 

which it can produce the sprout ; when ttiia power 
is obstructed or destroyed (as, for example, by the 
frying of the seed), it fails to produce that effect. 
.Similarly, there is the power of burning in fire, 
the power of expressing meaning and inducing activity 
in a word, the power of illumination in light and so 
osi.o The necessity of admitting such unperceived 
potency in the cause is that it explains why in some 
cases though the cause (i.e. seed or fire) is there, the 
effect (i.e. sprout «r burning) does not take place. 
The explanation is that in Buch cases though the cause- 
substance is there\ its causal potency has been des- 
troyed or over- powered temporarily, qs the case may 
be, by some obstructing conditions obtaining there. 
The Nyaya realists reject this theory. They say 
Nyays criticism— that even without admitting an 
•niwered. imperceptible potency in causes 

the above difficulty may be solved by holding that a 
cause produces the effect in the absence of obstructions 
and does not produce it in their presence. The 
Mimamsa meets this objection by saying that as we 
have to admit, even according to the Nyaya, something 
else in addition to the cause (namely, absence of 
obstruction), for the production of the effect, the Nyaya 


1 Vide SttUa-dXpiki, p SO, and Prakarana-palleiki, p. 14*. 


suggestion is do improvement. If . you must suppose 
something, why not admit a positive something in the 
very substance (say, seed) "Which is taken by all as 
the cause (say, of the sprout), rather than an additional 
negative condition having a causal power. It would be 
reasons 6Te, therefore, to suppose in the cause-substance 
a positive power (sakti) to explain the positive effect, 
and to suppose the non-functioning of this power 
(owing to its destruction or suppression) to explain the 
negative fad of non-happeuing of the effect. 

One important application of thio theory of potency* 
made by the Mlinamsa is for the solution of the problem 
how an action like a sacrifice performed now bears fruit 
after a long time (say, after this life, in Heafven*) 
when the action has ceased. It is held that the ritual 
pei formed here generates in the sou) of the performer 
an unperceived potency (i.e. pow* for generating the 
fruit oi the action) called apBrva, which remains 
in the soul anO bears fruit When 
Ja.*P*i2£$ circumstances are favourable. » It 
for_ eojoyincnt of the w jU (, e f 0UJ1( j ^at <h e theory 
fruits of nti.als. J 

of apfu'va is a limited hypothesis 

which tries to explain a part of the general problem of 
conservation of the fruits of all actions, ritualistic, and 
non-ritualistic, which the more universal law of karma 
seeks to explain. 

3. The Mlmdmsa Conception of Soul 

The conception of soul in the Mlmamsa is more 
or less like that of other realistic and pluralistic schools 

1 Vide Sistra-dipiki, p 90; Prakarana-paileiH, pp. 181-95; Sahara- 
bhifya, 2.1.6. ' 


such as the Nyaya-Vais'eslka. ' The soul is an eternal, 

infinite substance, which is related to a real body in 

a reaPworld and it survives death 

naUDfinhi'substwM to be ab,e to rea P the consequences 
which has tbe capacity f its action performed here. 

for consciousness. *• ». 

Consciousness is not the essence 
of the soul, but an adventitious quality , which arises 
when some conditions are present. In dreamless 
sleep and in the state of liberation the 60ul has no con- 
sciousness, because its conditions, such as relation 
r of sense to object, are absent. There are as many 
souls as there are individuals. The souls are subject 
to bondage and can also obtain liberation. In all 
these respects the grounds, on which the Mimamsa 
views are based, resemble those of the other schools 
mentioned previously and we need not repeat them 
here. " 

Regarding the knowledge of the soul , however, there 

Hon ie the self 'is something worth mentioning. 

known ? The BhattB School,. no i d8 that the 

self is not known whenever any object is known : 

it , is known occasionally. When we reflect on the 

self, we know it as the object 

As (be object of self- 
consciousness '— say of self-consciousness (aharii-vitti). 

But the Prabhakara School objects 

to tbis view on the ground that the very conception 

of self-consciousness is untenable, because the self 

cannot be both subject and object of the same 

act of knowledge, any more than food can be both the 

t Vide Sloka-tirtika, Xtroavida; SitUa-dipiki, Stma-vada (p. 119 
«( *eq.) ; Prakarana-patlciki, Praktrana 8. 

TriE MlMi&si philosophy 386 

cook and the cooked. The functions of the Bubject 
and the object are mutually incompatible (kanna-kartr- 
virodba) and cannot be attributed to the same thing at 
the same time. la every act of knowing an object, 
however, the self is revealed as the subject by that 
. . , , . , very knowledge. It is thus that 

' As tha sub/eel of * ° 

every kno«tu-<ige •'— we can speak of the self as the 
knower in judgments like I know 
this pot." If I myself did not appear as the 
subject iu every knowledge, the distinction b9tween 
my knowledge and another maa's knowledge would 
have been impossible. 1 The Bhattas reply to this that 
if the self were revealed whenever an object were 
known, we would have invariably had then a judgment 
like "I know this pot." But this is not always' 
the case. This shows that self-cousciousness does 
not always accompany the cons- 

Ju,o Scar^ 1 ' ci0USDes3 of aa «*]'«* : tet it only 
occasionally takes place and is, 
therefore, something diiferent from the consciousness 
of objects. As for the opposition between subjectivity 
and objectivity, it is more verbal than real. If theae 
were any real opposition, then the Vedic iiijun3tion 
"Know the self," and everyday judgments lite "I 
know myself" would have been meaningless. Besides, 
if the self were never the object of any knowledge, 
bow couid we remember the existence of the self in 
the past ? Here the past self eannot be said to be 
the subject or knower of the present memory-know- 
ledge ; it can only be the object of the present self 

1 prakaratsa-paficiki p. 148, 
4U— 1606B 


that knows it. 1 This shows that the self can become 
the object of knowledge. 

Closely connected with this question is another, 

namely, 'How is knowledge 
kSTn ? knowledee known ?' The Prabhakaras hold 

that in every knowledge of an 
object, such as expressed by the judgment , ' / know 

The Prabhakaras this P 0t '' three faCt0rS aF6 P re3ent ' 

bold that knowieige namely, ' I ' or the knower (jfiata), 

reveals itself as well 

as its subject and the object known (jfieya; and the 

"° ' ect- knowledge itself (jfiana). All these 

three are simultaneously revealed (triputijfiina). 

Whenever knowledge arises, it reveals itself, its object 

'and the subject. Knowledge is sell-revealing (svayara- 

prakasi) and is the revealer of its subject and object 

as well. The Bhattas hold, on the contrary, that 

knowledge by its very nature is such that it cannot 

be the object of itself, just as (he 

tEVJSK is^ ' finger-tip cannot touch lUelf. But 
ferred from the known- jj 0W t l ]en ( } Wrt « at a H come U) 
ness of it a object. 

know that we have the knowledge 

of a certain object ? The Bhiittas reply that whenever 

we perceive an object it appears to be e ither unfamiliar 

or familiar. If it appears to be familiar or previously 

known (j&ata), then from this character of familiarity 

or knownnesp (jnatata) which the object presents to us, 

we infer that we had a knowledge of that object. 

Knowledge is thus known indirectly by inference on 

the ground of the familiarity or knowuness observed 

in the object. 


1 Sittra-dipika, 'pp. 122-28. 


IV. MiMiAsi Religion and Ethics 

1. The Place of the V,edas tn Religion 

The Mlraamsa does not balieve in a creator of the 

►» world. Ift its anxiety to secure 

Religion ia bases 

od th>> Vedio command- the supreme place for the eternal 
B>fiD "" * Vedas, the Mfmathsa could not 

believe in God whose authority would be superior to 
or at least on a par with, that of the Vedas. According 
to the Miraarhsa. the Vedas embody not so much eter- 
nal truths as eternal injunctions or Iaw3 which enjoin 
the performance of the saeriticiil rites. Religion or 
Dhanua thin becomes identical with the Vedic injune-^ 
tions (codina-laksarp'rtho dhartnah). The Vedas 
supply the criterion of what is right, and what is 
wrong. A good life is a life led in, obedience to the 
Vedic commandments. 


2. The Conception of Duty 

The sacrifices performed in the Vedic times were 

A rit...i must, be calculated to please, by oblation* 

perroro.e'i ber»u<« it is on( j hvmns, different deities (the 

ea;uine 1 hi- the Vedas, 

and not with any otiwr Fire-god. the Sun-god, the Rain- 
god and others) either to win some 
favour or avert some ill. Though the Mimaihja is a 
continuation of tins Vedic cult, the ceremonial details 
of the rituals absorh its interest, rather than the gods 
themselves who gradually recede aud fade into mere 
grammatical datives. A deity comes to be described not 
by its moral or intellectual quilities, but as 'that 
which is signified, in a sacrificial injunction, by the 


fourth case-ending' (the sign of a dative, .to which 
something is given). In Ehort, a deity is necessary 
merely as that in whose name an oblation is to be 
offered at a sacrifice. But the primary object of per- 
forming a sacrifice, says an eminent Mimamsaka, is 
not worship : it is not to please any deity. *Nor is it 
purification of the soul or moral improvement. 1 A 
ritual is to be performed just because the Vedas 
command us to perform them. Some of these rituals, 
it is true, are to be performed in order to enjoy Heaven 
hereafter or lo obtain worldly benefits, such as rainfall. 
But there are some (e.g. nilya and naimittika karmas) 
which must be performed just because they are enjoin- 
«• • ed by the Vedas. Here the 

^Duty for duty's Mlmarflsa ethics reac h es , through 

ritualism, the highest point of its 

glory, namely, the conception of duty for duty's sake. 

Like Kant, the Mimathsa believes 

Kant end , Miniam- 
sft: agreement and' that an obligatory action is to be 

1 erenoe - performed not , because it will 

benefit the performer but because we ought to perform 
it. Like him again the Mimathsa believes that though 
an obligatory duty is not to be done with any interested 
motive, yet the universe is so constituted that a person 
who performs his duty does not ultimately go unreward- 
ed. The difference is that while for this purpope 
the Mimariiea postulates in the universe the impersonal 
moral law of karma, Kant postulates God. Again. 
whereaB the source of obligation for Kant is the 
higher self (which commands to the lower, ' thou 
oughtest to do what is good'), lor the Mimaihsakas 'it is 

2 Vide Piaharanapallciki, pp. 185 8C 

THE MlMI&SX philosophy 389 

the impersonal Vedlc authority which categorically 
enjoins doty. 

3. The Highest Good 

The highest good in the farly Mimarhss conception 
tt • ... i • v . appears" to have been the atlain- 

Heaven is tno highest * * 

good, lav/ding ■ t« ment of Heaven era state in which 

early Mlm&ihsa ., ,, , , ,. ,._ 

there is uDalloyed bliss. Heaven is 
regarded as the usual end of rituals. 1 The Mimarbtaka 
writers gradually fall in with ihe other Indian thinkers 
and accept liberation from bondage to the flesh as (he* 
highest good (nihsVeyasa). They realize that the per- 
formance of actions, good or bad, if dictated by any 
desire for enjoyment of objects, causes repeated birth. 

When one understands that worldly 
Liberation replaces p] ea s„reB are all mingled with pain, 

Heaven later on. l t p r > 

and becomes disgusted with life in 
tbe world, one tries to control one's passions, desists 
from forbidden actions, as well as actions with motives 
of future enjoyment. Thus the chance of future birth 
and bondage is removed. By the disinterested perfor. 
mance of obligatory duties and knowledge of the eejf, 
the karmas accumulated in tbe past are also gradually 
worn out. After this life such a person, being 'free 
from all karma-ties, is never born again. He is thus 
liberated. As bondage is the fettering of the soul to 
the world through the body including tbe senses, the 
motor-organs and manas, liberation ie the total destruc- 
tion of such bondage through the stopage of rebirth.* 

1 '«rargfik*mo jaj<t».' 

' Vidt Pjak'araiyipaflciki, Prakawga t), pp. 154-60. 


We have seen already that, according to the 
Mlmaihsa, consciousness and other 

SSSZJL £ metit ^ 8tales are not ifl herent in 
from pleasure sd(J the soul. They arise only when the 

pain. J J 

soul is related to objects through 

the body and the organs. The liberated 60ul, being 
dissociated from the body and, therefore, from all Jhe 
organs including manas, cannot have any consciousness; 
nor can it, therefore, enjoy bliss. Liberation is then 
desirable not as a state of bliss, but as the total cessa- 
tion of painful experienae. It is a state where the 60ul 
remains in its own intrinsic nature, beyond pleasure and 
pain. 1 The soul in its intrinsic state (svastha) can be 
(Seabed only as substance having existence and a poten- 
tiality for consciousness — though no actual consciousness. 
4. Is Mimtimsd Atheistic ? 

Should the Mluiarhsa be called atheistic ? Though 

the. reply 'to this, question would seem to be in the 

,_. . affirmative in the light of the 

Some scholars think • 

that the Mimamaa is traditional conception of the 

ool atheistic. „,..... ... , , , 

Mimainsa philosophy we have de- 
scribed above, doubts are raised by such a competent 
authority as Max Miiller.* Bearing in min 1 that of 
all schools the MFmarhsa claims to follow the 
Vedas most faithfully, he finds it difficult to believe 
that it could reject the Vedic belief in God. The 
arguments adduced by the Mfmarhsakas against the 
conception of a creator of the universe moan, according 

1 Vide Sistrodipika. pp. 125 31. 

* Vide The Six Systems of Indian Philoiu/ihij, Cli. V. Dr. Pasupnti- 
natii Saitrl nlso advocates this view in his Introduction to the Pitta 
Mimirhti. '' 


to Max Miiler, that if God were supposed to be the 
creator, He would be liable tp the charges of cruelty, 
partiality, etc. But the rejection of a creator-God, he 
contends, is not necessarily the rejection of God. Even 
some fonns of pantheism 'like those of the Advaita 
Vedanta and Spinoza, Max Muller contends, do not 
accept the reality of creation ; and it is unfair to call 
them atheistic, just because they do not conform to the 
customary conception of God. 

If the Mima,m6a is to be judged by the Vedic, 
ancestry, of which it is so proud, 

ft,t thi, view i. ,j M MiilIer ie perhaps riyht. 
difficult to Biippoit. t i o 

But judged by what the Munajhsi 
itself does and says, his contention cannot be fully 
accepted. When we find that the early Mlmikmsakas 

Ti>e uin.fcih» re>ct* are * ile,lt a"™ 1 flod and later ones 
proofs ( ,r Gid's exist- re i ect t i ie proofs for the existence 

°I God, like ibs Jainas, without 

rep'acing them by others, we have no positive proof 

that the eaily Vedic faith was still alive in them. The 

different Vedic deities of course still form necessary 

parts of the sacrifices performed. Depending on this 

evidence one uii^ht say at best that the Mimamsa 

believes in polytheism. But even such a view is 

rendered doubtful by the facts' that these deities are 

not regarded as objects of worship, 1 nor even believed 

to have any existence anywhere except in the Vedic 

hymns (mantras) that describe them. 1 While the 

Vedic hymns are inspired by the living presence of the 

1 YAgldin&ai devatariJhauahftuIve pramiijBbtiivit.^PraAorojo- 
patlciki, p. 185. •» 

4 Vide Jba', aioka-edrtiko, Eng. Tt. , Introduction. 


deity in the place of worship, the Miinainsaka wondera 

how the deity can ba simultaneously present in different 

places where he is invokeJ. 1 So 
It loses the living 
faith in deities found polytheism of the ordinary kind 

cannot also be attribujad to the 
Mimamsa without som9 qualification. The deities of 
the MImiihsaka are like the immortal characters 
of classical Epics ; they do not belong to the space-time 
world; they are not existing parsons, but typ3s. Bit 
„ in a sense the daities are more thin these characters, 
because they are not the products of any imagination ; 
they are eternal and self-manifesting concepts, since 
•they are the characters described by the eternal, self- 
revealing Vedas. There may be 6ome grandeur and 
even purhy in such a conception of deities, but one 
would miss here the living faith of the Vedas. It would 
not be fair, then, to judge the Mfmathsa 6imply by its 
Vedic ancestry. , Inherited elements of a faith, like 
inherited limbs, become atrophied bj disuse. The 
Vedic conception of God had no active plaoo in the 
Mlmamsa scheme of life, as it had in the Vedanta one. 
and it is natural that it should gradually fade away. 
The Mimamsa is one of the many examples in human 
history of how an overemphasized means becomes its 
own end, and how gods are sacrificed for temples, pro- 
phets and books. In its great anxiety to maintain 
the supremacy of the Vedas, the MJmarhsa relegates 
God to an ambiguous position. It is here that the 
Vedanta comes to differ from it, utilising its faith in 
the Vedas to develop a still greater faith in God, as. we 
shall Bee, in the next chapter. 

1 Vide Prakaraqa-panciki, p. I 86. 


60- 1605b 


V. L. Sastrl ... 

One Hundred and Eight Upanisads 

(Nirnaya Sagar, Bombay). 


The Thirteen Principal Upanisads 

(Eog. traos.). 

R. D. Ranade ... 

A Constructive Survey a] Ujpamsadic 

Philosophy (Poona). 


The Philosophy of the Upanisads. 


Brahma-sutra-bhasya (Nirnaya 



Do. (R. Venkate- 


svar Co.). 

G. Thibaut 

The Vedanta-Sutras, with the 

Commentaries of Sankara and 

Ramanuja (Eng. trans. S. B. E. 

serieB) . 

S. Radhakrishnan 

Indian Philosophy, Vol. II, Ohs. 


M.N. Sarkar ... 

The System of Vedantic Thought 

and Culture (Calcutta). 

KokileSvar Sastri 

The Introduction lo Advaita*Phih- 

sophy (Calcutta). 

S.«K. Das 

A Study of the Veddnta (Calcutta). 

W. S. Urquhart 

The Vedanta and Modern Thouyht 


(Oxford University Press). 

R. Das 

The Essentials oi Advaitism 


V. S. Gbate ... 

The Vedanta (a comparative account 

of Sankara, Ramanuja, Nim- 

barka, Madhva and Vallabha), 

Bhandarkar Oriental Research'* 

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M. Hiriya'nna 

Outlines of Indian* Philosophy, 



I. Intboduction 

1. Origin and Development of the VedSnta 

' Vedanta ' literally means ' the and of the Vedas.' 

Primarily the word stood for the 

The Vedanta may »,,..„ . 

be regarded us the UpanisadB though afterwards its 

SfaJtKnu.1"" " denotation widened to include, all. 

thoughts developed out of the 
Upanisads. The Upanisads may be regarded as the 
end of the Vedas in different series. (1) First, the 

Upanisads were the last literary 

(1) m the last , , it 1-. ■ ■. 
literary products of products of the Vedie period. 

the Vedic period. Three kinds of literature of this 

period can be broadly distinguished : the earliest being 
the Vedic hymns or mantras compiled ia the differeot 
Sarhhitas (viz. {Ik, Yajus, Saraa), the next being the 
Brahmanas which are treatises guiding and encourag- 
ing the Vedic. rituals and tho last, the Upanisads which 
discuss philosophical problems. A.U th^e three were 
treated as revealed texts (Gratis) and sometimes also 
called the Vedas, in the wider sense of this term. 
(-2) Secondly, in respect of study 

(2) u studied . ., tt • a i« » *» 

*ftrr the other Vedic also,, the Upamsaas came last. As 
Hter«ure, ft ^^ ft man 8ta a- ief j tne Samhitas 

first ; the Briihraanas were required next for guiding 
him entered life and had to perform the 


rituals enjoined on a householder ; and last of all the 
Upanisads (some of which are also known as aranyakas 
or forest-treatises) were needed to help him when he 
retired from the world, led a secluded life in forests and 
tried to understand the ^meaning of life and contem- 
plate the mystery of the universe. (3) Thirdly, the 

Upanisads may bo regarded as. the 
(8) ae the calrni- * ' , r ' , . * 
nation of the Vedio end of the Vedas also in the sense 

onUure - . that they mark the culmination of 

the Vedic speculation. In the Upanisads themselves 
we are told that even after the study of the Vedas with 
other branches of learning a man's education is not 
complete till he receives instructions in the 
" Upanisads. 1 

The word ' Upanisad ' means either ' that which 
gets man near to God,' or ' that 
ibJv e d*Dto* tnre °' ' whi ch gets man near to the teacher 
, (upa-ni-sad).' The last meaning 

tallies with the fact that the Upanisadic doctrines 
were esoteric, i.e. they were very secretly taught only 
to the select pupils seated close to fupasanna) ■ the 
teacher. The Upanisads were regarded as the inner 
or secret meanings (rahasya) of the Yedas, hence their 
teachings were sometimes called Vedopaoisad * or the 
mystery of the Vedas. The Upanisads were many * 
is number and developed in the different Vedic schools 

1 Vidt Chtniogfa, Chips. 6 and 7. 

1 Vid* Bunkara'a Introdnetion to Ki{ha, Taittirtyo, Bihaiiranyaka 
1 The verb ' npssad ' <* go near ') is repeated); used in the Up» 
meads to describe tbe pupil's approaching U» teacher for instruction. 

* VidtTaitlirlya.l.U. 

• Vide Ousgupta, History of Indian Philotophy, Vol. I, p. 2£, foi $ 
list of 119 UFsnissds. ' , 


(sakbas) at different^ times and places. The problems 
discussed and solutions offered presented differences 
inspke of a unity of general outlook. The need was 
felt, therefore, in course of time for systematizing the 
different teachings so as .to bring out the harmony 
underlying them. Badarayana's Brahma-sulra (also 
known .variously as Veddnia-sutra, Satiraka-sutra or 
S&riraka-mimaiiisa, Uttara-mlmdrhsa) undertakes this 
ta6k. Badarayana attempted to set forth the unani- 
mous teachings of the Upannsads, and defend them 
against possible and actual objections. His sutra3, 
being brief, were liable to different interpretations. 
Various commentaries thus came to be written to 
elaborate the doctrinee of tHe* 

v T ed* n u Cl10018 ° f the Vedanta in their own light. Each 
tried to justify its position as the 
only one consistent with the revealed texts (srutis) 
and the 6utras. The author of each of, these chief 
commentaries (bhasya) became the founder of a 
particular schocJl of the Vedanta. Thus we have tbe 
schools of Saiikara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Vallabha, 
Nimbarka and many others. 1 Each school of ,the 
Vedanta consists not simply of tbe 

^of P thVv«dL'u 0W ' PhiloFophers who theoretically 
accept its views but also of a large 
number of lay followers who try to mould their lives 
accordingly. It is in this way that tbe Vedanta in 
its different form 6 still persists in the lives of millions. 
After the chief commentaries, the literature of the 

1 Fur * short comparative account of some of these schools vide 
P. Nagara ; a Rno'n Th* Sehooh of Vtdtnto (BharitTj^ Vidri Bhavan, 
Bombay). • 


Vedanta developed through the innumerable sub-com- 
mentaries, glossed and indapendent treatises written by 
the leading intellects of each school to support its views 
and refute chose of the othsr schooU. The total output 
of Vedanta literature thus became very large, though 
only a small fraction of it has been printed as yet. 

The most common question on which' the* schools 
_ of the Vedanta are divided is : 

The due' problem 

on whic*» the schools What is the nature of the relation 
between the self (jiva) and God 
(Brahman)? Some, like Madhva, hold that the self 
and God are two totally different entities ; their view^. 
is called dualism (dvaita). So na others, like S Ankara, 
hold that the two are absolutely identica l ; this view 
is known as monism (advaitaV Some others, like 
Raraanuja, again hold that the two are identical only 
•n some special sense : this view may be called 
qualifi3d_monisin ^viSistaJvaita). There wer8 many 
other views, eadi spacit'ying a particular type of 
identity (abhada*. difference (bhadi) or ldewtity- 
in-difference (bhedabheda) between the self and God, 
fcoaraany to be mentioned here. But the best knjwn 
amoDg the Vedanta schools are those of Sankara and 
Ramauuja which will be discussed here. 

Three stages in the development of the Vedanta 
may be distinguished in the light 

oXe vSLV** of wbat haa been said above: (1) . 
The creative stage represented by * 
the revealed texts (sYutis) or the Vedic literature, 
chiefly consisting of the Upanisads. The fundamental 
ideas of the Vedanta take shape here mostly in the 
poetic visions and mystic intuitions of the 'enjightened 


seers. (2) The stage of Bystematization represented by. 
the Brabma-Butras which gather, arrange and justify* 
the ideas of tbe previous stage. (3) The stage of- 
elaboration represented by all works beginning from tbe*. 
chief commentaries downwards in wbicb the ideas and 
arguments are cast into the proper philosophical forms, 
appeal being, made not simply to earlier authority 
but also to independent reasoning. Though it is 
possible to consider separately the philosophical 
speculations of each of these periods, in consideration 
of space we bball discuss them together. Orthodox* 
Indian writers themselves generally look upon tbe 
entire current of thought, spread over tie successive 
stages, as one flow, inseparable at source, but develop-"" 
ing and ramifying in its onward course. Let us have 
a bird's-eye view of tbe development of the Vedanta 
through the Vedas and UpanisadB. 

2. tiow the Vedanta Developed tlvough the Vedas 
and the Upanisads 

Of *the three Vedas, Ilk, Yajus and Sama, the first 

is the basic work, the second two contain JRk hymns 

(mantras) in different arrangements to suit their 

, r ,. application to sacrifices. The 

The Veihc couc<>p- rr 

tiou of gods and bymns of tbe Rg-veda mostly 
consist of praises of the different 
deities — Agni, Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and so on. They 
describe the mighty and noble deeds of the various 
deities, and pray for their help and favour. Sacrifices 
offered to the god6 consisted in pouring oblations of 
clarified butter and other things into tbe sacrificial 
fire along with which the liymna in their praise where 
recited and* sung. These deities were conceived as the 


realities uudarlying and governing ths different pheno- 
mena of nature, sash as fire, sua, wind, rain and 
others, on which life, agriculture and prosperity 
depenJeJ. Nature, though peopled with different 
gods, wa9 conceived as auoject to soma bisie law 
(called BJa) by which the whole world, objects of 
nature as well as living beings, was regulated. 

__..... . Its function was not only the 

The belief in the ' 

moral aicure of tbe preservation of order and regularity 
in planets and other objects, but 
also the regulation of justice. 

Belief in many gods is called polytheism. Tbe 

Vedas are, therefore, often said 

Tbe Vedic faith in 
gods, is it poly- to be polytheistic. But there is a 

peculiarity in Vedic thought that 
makes this view doubtful. Each of many gods, when 
praised, is extolled by the hymn as the supreme God, 
the .Creator 'of the universe and the lord of all gods. 

Max Miiller thinks, therefore, that 
WhS"™"-' PoIytheUw is not an appropriate 

name for such a belief, and be 
coins a new word 'henotheism* to signify this. But 
whether the Vedic faith is really polytheism or 
henotheism, depends largely on the explanation of 
this phenomenon. It is polytheism, if the raising 
of each god to the supreme positiou be not the indica- 
tion of real belief in tbe supremacy, but only a wilful 
exaggeration, a poeiic hyperbole. But if the Vedic 
poets really believed what they said, henotheism 
would be a better name. The latter view is 


rendered more than probable by tbe fact that in tbe 
Bg-veda we come across passages where it is r explicitly 


stated that the different gods are only manifestations 
of one underlying reality. •* The one reality is called 
by the wise in different ways : Agni, Yama, Matarisva " 

(Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti ). 1 Such a clear 

statement leaves little doubt as to the existence of a 
real belief in the unity underlying all gods. 

According to many writers, there is a development 
noticeable in Vedic thought and 

JSSSSti.T the y believo that the ideft of God 

gradually developed from poly-* 
theism through henotheism, ultimately to monotheism, 
i.e. belief in one God. This hypothesis may be true. 
But let us not forget, in our eagerness to satisfy 
critics, that even in its most developed form, Indian 
monotheism retains the belief that though God is one, 
He has various manifestations in the many gods, any 
one of which may be worshipped as a form of the 
Supreme Deity. Even to-day we 'have in India" the 
divergent cults— •Saivism, Vaisnavism and the like — 
flourishing side by side and almost every one of them 
is at bottom based on a philosophy of one Supreme 
God — perhaps even one all-inclusive reality. Indian 
monotheism in its living forms, from the Vedic ag£ till 

now, has believed rather in the unity'. 

The pewiatent feature Q , the gods ,•„ Go <f than the denial', 
of Indian monotheism. ' " ' 

of gods for God. Hence Indian • 
monotheism has a peculiarity which distinguishes it 
from the Christian or the Mahomedan. This is a 
persistent feature of orthodox Iudian faith throughout, 
not a mere passing phase of the Vedic times. 

» $0-v«da,*l. 164. 46 <vidt also 10 114. 4, 10. 129,10. 82, «t 

81— 1806B 


Belief in the unity of all gods which we find in 
the Ijig-veda is only a part of a 

toS 0Unity0f * U " iB " B"** 6 * bought which also we 

find there in a clear form, namely, 

tbe unity of all existence. In the famous Purusasukta 

which is even now daily recited by every devout 

Brahmin, the Vedic seer visualizes, 

' iitaBt»ted in the per haps for the first time in human 

Hjmn of Man. r c 

history, the organic unity of the 
whole universe. Some stanzas are quoted below : 

Tbe Man had a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a 
thousand feet : he covered the earth on all sides 
and stretched ten fingers' length beyond it. 

The Man was all that is and all that will be : 
ruling over immortality, he was all that grows 
by food. >' 

Such was his greatness ; and the Man waB greater 
still : this whole world is a fourth of him, three- 
fourths of him are immortal in the sky. 

For with three-fourths tbe Man went on high ; but 
a fourth of him remained here, and then 
spread on all sides, over the living and the 
lifeless world. 1 

All existence — earth, heavens, planets, gods, living 

and non-living objects — is conceived 

The transcendence here as the parts of one great 
and immanence of 

God. person (Purusa), who pervades tbe 

world, but also remains beyond 
it. In Him all that is, has been and will be, are 
united. We have in this hymn the poetic msiglit 
not only info the universe as one organic whole, but 

1 Rg-ttda, 10. 90 (P«terton'« trans.). 


also into the Supreme Beahty which is both immanent 
and transcendent ; God pervades the world, yet He 
is not exhausted thereby ; He remains also beyond 
it. 1 In terms of Western theology, tim conception 
is panentheism (pan — all, en — in, theos — God), not pan- 
theism ; all is not equal to God, but all is in God, who 
is greater than all. One flash of the seer's imagina- 
tion, in this 'hymn, reveals a variety of ideas that 
inspired the Vedic mind, monism, panentheism and 
organic conception of the world. 

In anothor hymn (commonly knovrn asthe Nasadiya- 
sukta), we are introduced further ImperB ° nalAb ' to the Vedic inception of the 
Impersonal Absolute. The reality 
underlying all existence — the primal one from which 
everything originates — cannot be described, it says, 
either as existent or as non-existenj (na sat, na asat). 
Here we have perhaps the first flash of a conception 
of the Indeterminate Absolute, which is the reality 
underlying all things, but is in itself indescribable. 
Tfle hymn thus begins : 

There wa=< then neither what is. nor what is not, 
there was no sky, nor the heaven which *is 
beyond. . 

It concludes : 

He from whom this creation arose, whether he 
made it or did not make it ; the highest seer in the 
highest heaven, he forsooth knows, or does even he not 

.' 8* bhfltnith vievato vrtva atyatigfhad dasaftgulann. 

Pado'iya vtfvft bha«ni, trip&dnsya arorrarh divi. Ibid. 
' $g-vtdo,£0 139 (Mas MQIler'a trans.). • 


As for the relation between the conception of Ulti- 
mate Reality as a Person and the 
ita^^iSTS conception of it as an Indetermi- 
mpenonai ideas of nate Absolute, we may note that 
even in the description of Reality 
as Person, there is also a mention of its transcendent 
aspect, which is not describable in terms of the objects 
of the world and, therefore, indeterminate. 'They are 
thus conceived as the two aspects of the same Reality. 

Though many of the important elements of the 

, "Vedanta are to be fonnd thu6 in 

Philosophy based on the Rg-veda, they are presented in 

arguments is absent _, ,-,-,, 

in the Vedss. a poetic way. The method by 

■which the sages arrive at these 

views is not mentioned, neither the arguments which 

support them. Philosophy ■> proper must be based on 

explicit reasoning Lnd argument chiefly. There is. 

therefore, no regular philosophy, strictly speaking, 

' in the Vedas. The first attempt 

It is fonnd first in at philosophical speculation is to 
the Upanigads in a , „ , . ,. TT . , ' , 
rudimentary form. be found in the Upanisads, wnere 

problems about self, God and 

the world are clearly put and discussed. But even 

here, the philosophical method of arriving at conclusions, 

rigorously supported by arguments, is only partly in 

evidence. Some of the Upanisads are written in 

verses and they contain, like the Rg-veda, inspired 

utterances on philosophical matters. So also are some 

other Upanisads, though written in prose. The only 

approach to philosophical method is to be fonnd in 

the few UpaniBads, where, through dialogues — questions 

and answers— attempt is made to lead, the sceptical 


pupil, step by step, to some conclusion. But inspite 
of tbe lack of strict argumentative form, the Upani- 
sads have a profound cbarm aqd appeal. Tbis is due 
to the joint effect of tbe loftiness of ideas, tbe depth 
of insight, tbe mysterious appeal to all that is good and 
sublime m man and the irresistible force with which 
the views are asserted as though they are born of a 
direct vision of truth. A famous German philosopher, 
Schopenhauer, impressed by the Upanisads, declared : 
"In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and 
so elevating as that of the Upanisads. It has been the 
solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death." 

Tbe problems of tbe Upanisads, to mention only 
some of the more frequent ones, 

i>!£ad? Jmi9 "' >he are : What is the Be * ,i *y from ' 

which ajl things originate, by which 
all live and mto which all dissolve when destroyed? 
What is that by knowing which everything can be 
; known? "What is that by knowing which the un-» 
known becomes Jinown? What is that by knowing 
which one can attain immortality? What is Brahman? 
What is Atman? As the very nature of these 
questions implies, tbe Upanisadic . mind was. already 
steeped in the belief that there i6 an all-perytfsive 
reality underlying all things which arise from,, exist in 
and return to it.; that there is some reality by knowing 
which immortality can be attained. 

The name given to this Reality is sometimes 

Brahman (God), sometimes Atman 

The belief in an all- ._ ... ,. , a , 

pervanvenaiKy died (Self), sometimes simply Sat 
Brahman or Xtcn.D. (Being). ' At first there was the 

Atman alone,' say the Aitareya (1.1.1.) • and the 


Brhadaranydka (1.4.1.). ' All this is Stman/ says the 
Chandogya (7.25.2.). "Xtman being known . . . every- 
thing is known," say6 the Brhatlfiranyaka again (4.5.6.). 
Similarly we find, "There was only Being (Sat) at the 
''beginning, it wasone without a second" (Chdnd., 6.2.1.). 
Again, "All this is Brahman" (Mundaka, 2.8.11. and 
Chdnd., 3.14.1.). Brahman and itman are used syno- 
nymously in these different contexts. ' We* are also 
told explicitly in some places that "This self is the 
Brahman" (Brhad., 2.5.19.), " I am Brahman" (Ibid., 

1.4.10.). 1 

The Upanisads shift the centre of interest from 

the Vedic gotU to the Self of man. 

**2&i»!S? They. analyze the Self , distinguish 

between its outer husk and its 

inner reality. The body, Ijhe senses, the manas, the 

intellect and pleasures arising out of them are all tested 

and found to be passing, changeful modes, not the 

permanent essence of the Self. These are merely the 

The real mU behind sbeaths (kosas), the outer covers, 

the outer sheaths. 80 fc, 8a y ) wn ich conceal an 'inner, 

permanent reality, which cannot be identified with 

any of these, though all of these are grounded in it and 

are rts manifestations. The Real Self is pure conscious- 

■/ ness, every particular consciousness of objects being its 

limited manifestation. Not being limited by any 

' The teste translated here are respectively : 'Om alma v& idaro eke 
etaagre asTt.' 'Attn* eva idatn agre aalt' 'Atma eva idaih earvani.' 
'Itmani kliala are djste srote mate vij'tlftte idafh narvam viditam.' 'S»d 
eva Baomya idem agra asit, ekaio era advitiyam.' '8tr»ath khalu Ue* 
brabma CChdnd.). 'Brahma era idath visvam' (Mtinrf'.V 'Ay am Attn* 
brabma.' 'Aham brahroa aimiJ, . 


object, this pure consciousness is also infinite. The 
Beal Self 'is called Atman. As 

It is the same »• the . . 

reality uudetiyiog ail infinite, conscious reality (satyam, 
1 ,ng9 " jnanam, anantam) the self of man 

is identical with the Self of all beings (sarva-bhutatma) 
and therefore, with God or Brahman. In the Katha 
we are told : "This Self is concealed in all things, and 
does not, therefore, appear to be there. But it is 
perceived by the keen-sighted with the help of a sharp, 
penetrating intellect" (3. 12). • 

All attempt \r made to help man discover this his 
Beal Self. Realization of the Self 

'high^£wi e d g e. tbfi ^^-vidya or atma-jnana) * is . 

regarded as the highest of all know- 
ledge (para-vidyai, all otheY knowledge and learning 
being inferior to it (apara-vidya). The method of self- 
realization lies through the control of the.lower self, 
its deep-rooted interests and impulses, and through 
study, .reasoning* and repeated meditation fs'ravana, 
man ana, aididhyasana) , till the forces of past habits 
and thoughts are completely overcome by a firm belief 
in the truths learnt. It is a difficult path which can 
be followed only if one is strong and wise enough! to 
reject what is pleasant (preyas) for what is good 

The Vedic belief in sacrifices is shaken by the 
B.h»u are made- Up»nisadB which declare that with 
<J»»'«- these one cannot achieve the 

highest goal of immortality. The Mundcko says that 
these sacrifices are like weak rafts (i.e. they are unable 
to take one aeross the sea of worldly misery) and those 
fools that take these as the superior means, suffer 


again the. pangs of old age and death. 1 A ritual can at 
, secure a temporary place in Heaven, and when the 
merit (punya) earned by it is exhausted there [is again 
birth into this world. A deeper significance is attached 
to sacrifice, when the worshipping self and the gods 
worshipped are realized to be the same. The cere- 
monies of offering oblations to gods thus come to be 
looked upon as mere external affairs fit for the ignorant 
who do . not understand the mystery of the universe. 

Sacrifice to the Self or Brahman is 

Knowledge of the ■»-, , — - -~" 

Self or Ood is the regarded as superior to sacrifice to 

Sgte,t g^l iDingthe g°<*8. It is only through the realiza- 

" tidnof the Self or Brahman that 

.rebirth can be stopped and along with it all misery. 

One who truly realizes his- unity with the Immortal 

Brahman, realizes immortality. 

The Upanisads conceive Brahman not only as the 

" pure ground of all reality and con- 

Prahman is the ulti- 8C i u 8 ne8s, but alu> as the ultimate 

mate source of all joy. ' 

source of all joy. Worldly pleasures 
are only the distorted fragments of that joy, just as 
worldly objects are limited manifestations of that 
Reality. 1 One who can dive into the deepest recess 
of his Self, not only realizes his identity w ith Brahman 
but gets to the heart of Infinite Joy. The proof that 
the Self is the source of all joy (says Yajuavalkya to 
his wife Maitreyi) is that it is the dearest thing to man. 
One loves another person or thing because he identifies 
himself with that person or thing, regards him or it as 

1 Mwrfaka, 1. 2. 7. 

' BjhadiTanyaka, 4, 8. 32. 


bis own Self. Nothing is 'dear for its own sake, says 

Yajftavalkya. The wife is not dear because she is wife, 

the husband is not dear because of being a husband, 

the son is not dear because of being 

All is dear became _„ m ,., , , ... 

ofthe Self. a son, wealth is not dear for its 

own sake. All is dear because of 
the Self/ That the Self in itself is bliss is show n 
also by pointing out that when a wan falls into dream- 
less 6leep, forgets bis relation with the bodVj, the 
senses, mind and external objects and thus retires into 
his ow n intrinsic state, he is at peace, he is untouched 
by pleasure and pain. 

Modern biology tells us that self-preservation is a 
basic instinct in all living beings. But why is self or 

. , life so dear ? The answer is given 
Desire to live is due " 

to the joy that Uea iu by the* Upamsads. Life is so dear 
ie * because life b joy. Who would 

like to live if life was not joy ? J Toe joy that we 
hare in daily life, however disturbed and meagre 
it might be, sustains our desire to live. Greater 
joy is not obtained by running further away from 
the Self, after worldly objects. Desires for objects are 
the fetters that bind us to the world, to the painful 
' vicious circle — birth, death and rebirth. The forces 
of desires take us away from the Self and condition 
our existence in the way we hanker after. The more 
we give up our hankerings for objects and try to 
realize our identity with the true Self (itman; or God 
(Brahman;, the more do we realize true happiness. 
To feel a t one with" the Self jb to be one with 

> Ibid., «. 6. 6. 
* T«t.,2.a7. 


the Infinite G-od, the Immortal, the Infinite Joy. 

Nothing then remains unatfcained, 
gSteSlS* t,0ni,bhe nothiag left to be desired. The 

Katha declares, therefore, that a 

mortal attains immortality and unity with Brahmau 

even here, in this very life, when his heart is free from 

all desires. 1 # < 

If Brahman or it man is the Reality underlying 

the whole universe then the ques- 

Cieation of tbe world 
out of Br»bm»n or tion may arise as to the exact 

• t,n * n ' relation between Brahman and tbe 

world. The accounts of creation given in the different 

(Jpanisads do not exactly tally. But all appear to be 

unan'imous in holding that Atraan (or Brahman or Sat) 

is both the creator and the material cause of the world. 

And in most of these accounts the starting-point of 

creation is described somewhat like this: At first there 

was the soul. It thought, 'I am one, I will be many,' 

'I will creato the worlds.' Description of the 

subsequent steps by which things are «created varies, 

some stating that out of At man first arises the subtlest 

element 'A.kaa'i.' thence gradually all the grosser ones ; 

others give different accounts. 

From these statements creation would appear to ba 

real and God (i.e. The Absolute 

jJSuiF 1 * ° f ,DU, ' Soul)a real creator/ But in manA" 

places we are told that there is no ' 

multiplicity here ('neha nana asti kificana'),' that 

one who se es the many hero is do omed to death 

1 Kafka. 9. 6. 14. 

< iCa(hn,9.4. 1] :B r h«i., 4. 4 19. 


(' mytyoh sa mrtyuin apnoti ya iba naneva pasyati').' 
In explanation of the unity # of all things, which 
appear to be many, examples like these are cited : 
Just as different articles made of gold are all really 
one, goM is the only real * substance in them and 
the different names and forms (nama-rupa) which 
malte tbefai appear as many , are merely matters of 
verbaljdistjnctions, similarly in all objects there is 
the same Reality, and their differences are merely 
verbal?*" The objects of the world a t d denied separate, 
individual existences. Brahman for Atman) is also 
described in many passages not as Creator, but as a 
ReaFity which is indescribable, being not only unspeak- 
able, but even unthinkable. Brahman cannot be an 
object of worship even. Thus the Kena declares: 
"That (Brahman) is other than what is known and 
beyond tbe unknown. What is not expressed by speech 
and by which speech itself is expregsad, kuow that to 
be Brahman, and not what one worships as Brahman.'" 
These two different kinds of statements about the 
world and God naturally present a 

rJi t orf *" OD than p» zz,e - l6 God rea,I y the crea4or 

of tbe world and the world , also 
therefore real ? Or, is there really no creation and is 
the world of objects a mere appearance ? Is God a 
determinate knowable reality which can be described? 
by suitable attributes or is God indeterminate and 
unknowable ? What is the real view of the 
Upanisads ? Subsequent Vedanta treatises take up 

• Ibi^ .» r»»»a.,C. 1. s Kent, 1,3-4, 


these problems for rotation. Ab already stated , the 
Brahma-sutra of BSdarayana attempts to systematize 
and ascertain the real views of the revealed texts. Bat 
its brief statements themselves admit of different 
meanings. Subsequent writers who 
The different views commented on the Brahma-sutra 

leading to different 

■obooh of VedSnta. give their own interpretations to the 

Upanifadfj and the sutras very 

clearly and elaborately. Of the different rival schools 

that came into existence in this way, that of Sankara- 

rfirya is the most popular. In fact what ordinarily 

passes now-a-days as the Vedanta, and sometimes even 

a6 Indian philosophy to outsiders, is really the Advaita 

Ved&nta of the Sankara school. Next comes, in point 

of popularity, the Vi&stadvaita Bchool of Ramanuja- 

carya. These two are the" main and move widely 

known schools of tbe^Vedanta. 

3. .The Unanimous Views of the main schools of the 

Following BSdarayana, both Sankara and Ramanuja 
reject theories which explain the 

The ' unanimous world (1) either as the product of 
vedanta conception of ■ 

the world. material elements which by them- 

selves combine together to form 
objects, (2) or as the transformation of an unconscious 
nature that spontaneously evolves all objects, (3) or as 
the product of two kinds of independent reality, such 
as matter and God, one of which is the material, the 
other the efficient cause which creates the world out 
of the first. Both agree that an unconscious cause 


cannot produce the world, and both bold that even the 
dualistic conception of two ultimately independent 

realities, oife conscious and another 

JS^MkJSi ™*>™cious, producing the world 

* by interaction, is unsatisfactory. 

Both take their stand on the Upanisadic view that 'All 

is Brahman' fsarvam kha'u idam Brahma), an d matte r 

and mind arejjot independent realities but grounded in 

the same Brahman. Both are, therefore, monsits or 

believers in one Absolute, Independent Reality which 

pervades the world of multiple objects and selves. ' 

Badarayana, whom both Sahkara and Ratnanuja 

follow, discusses at length the unsa- 

Both follow Bada- Msfactory nature of other alternative 

»ipw». "' raec ° Pr theories of the world. Refutation 

of otlitf views is based both on in- 
dependent reasoning and the testimony of earlier 
scrir tures. We may briefly sum up here th,e indepen- 
dent arguments dy which the cfiief theories are 
refuted, 1 • 

The Sankhya theory that unconscious primal matter 
(prakrti), composed of the three gunas (sattva, raja/ 

and tamasl, gives rise to the world 
BefutHtion of tbe without the guidance of any oon- 

Bafibhya view of crei- , . . • . , 

tion. 8C]ous agent, is not satisfactory., 

because the world is a harmonious 
system of nicely ndjimt efl nh j attts^ which cannot .be 
believed -«to be the accidental product of any unconscious 
cause. As the Sankhya itself admits, this world consist- 

1 Vide B*c. 2, Chap. II of the Brahma-tHt., and the Bhftffd* of 
ftiAkara and R4ro#uaja thereon. ' 


« < 

ing of bodieB, senses, motor organs and other objects is 
made just to fit the divewe Bouts born into it in accor- 
dance with their past deeds. But how can an uncon- 
scious uature carry out such a complicated plan ? In 
admittin,' that there i6 a purpose in 

The evolutioo of ., ,, . , , . . ,, 

an ordered world ie tne world, but denying at the same 

SLS^IfcS"* time the exi6teDCe ' 0f » C0n8Ci0U8 

creator, the Sankhya commits itself 
to an absurd position. Unconsci ous teleo jogy . is. unin- 

rtelligible. Adaptation of means to ends is not possible 
Without conscious guidance. The spontaneous flow of 
milk from the cow for the sake of a calf is cited by the 
Sa&khya as an example of unconscious but purposive 
ftflt.- But it is forgotten that the cow is a living, 
conscious being and milk flpws impelled by her love for 
the calf. No undisputed example of an unconscious 
object performing a complicated purposeful act can be 
cited. The souler (purusas) that the Bankhya admits 
are said to be inactive and, therefore, .they also cannot 
help the evolution of the world. 
, The Vaiifesika theory thai the world is caused by 

- the combination of atoms is similarJy untenable because, 
these unconscious atoms cannotl 

tteVeifc itavfew ° f P roduce th ' 8 wonderfully adjusted] 
world. Fot the regulation of the 
»tom6 in the formation of the world, the moral lajr ..of 
adrgta is, of course, admitted by the Vaisesika. But 
this law is also unconscious and the difficulty is not 
removed. Besides, how atoms at first begin to move 
in order to create the world is not explicable. Tf move- 
ment were the inherent nature of the atoms, they would 


never cease to move and the dissolution (pralaya) of 
objects, as the Vaieesika admits. 

Uoronreioui atoms • 

oonnot prcxiuc* this would never occur. Souls are of 
wor ' rourse admitted, bnt they are not 

admitted ^o I ave any intrinsic consciousness. Con- 
sciousness arises after the souls are associated with 
bodies and.the organs of knowledge ; and these do not 
exist before creation. Hence atoms cannot receive any 
conscious guidance even from souls. 

Against those liauddha thinkers who explain tbe 

objects of the world as aggregates 

Refutation of the of different momentary elements, it 

ltauddhu view. . . , , . 

is pointed out that momentary 

things cannot possess any causality. Because to produce 
, an effect the cause must first arise and then act and, 
therefore, stay for more tl'an one moment, which is 
against the doctrine of momentariness. Even if the 
separate momentary elements be somehowproduced, 
no aggregate can be caused, far no substances are ad- 
mitted (by these Ebuddhas) which can bring together 
the elements and produce the desired objects. As con- 
sciousness itself is admitted to be tbe effect of the 
aggregation of the different elements, it cannot e^ist 
before aggregation, and the difficulty of jmconsciftus 
cause, seen before, arises here also. 

Against those Bauddhas who hold tbe view of 

subjective ideali&m (vijnanavada) 

whfch d d«ie» ,, tiie U e* andjleclare that the world, like a 

tern.1 world, is unt«i- dream, i SO nly an illusory product 

. of the imagination, tbe following 

im portant objections are pressed by Sankara. (a) The 

. existence of, external objects cannot be, denied because 


they are perceived to exist by all persona. To deny the 
existence of a pot, olotb or pillar while it is being per- 
ceived, is like denying ttfe flavour of the food while it 

# is being eaten : it is a falsification of immediate experi- 
ence by sheer force, (b) It immediate experience is dis- 

* believed, then even the reality of mental states cannot 
be believed in. (o) To say that ideas of the 'mind 
illusorily appear as external objects is meaningless uu- 
less at least something external is admitted to be real. 
Otherwise, it would be as good as to say that a certain 

' man looks like the child of a barren woman, (d) Unless 
different perceived objects like pot and cloth are 
admitted, the idea of a pot caanot be distinguished 
from that of a cloth, since, as consciousness, they are 
identical, (e) There is a vital difference between dream- 
objects and perceived objects : the former are contra- 
dicted by waking experience, while the latter are not. 

"'External ^objects perceived during waking experience 
cannot be said to be unreal so long 

Baudba nihilism i» 

therefore, untenable as they are not r felt to be contra- 
t00 ' dieted. So subjective idealism, and 

* long with it also nibilsm (sunyavada}, fail to explain 
the world satisfactorily. 
' Even a deistic theory (held by the Saivas, Pasupatas, 
Xapalikas and Kalamukhae) 1 which 

Deistic theories of « - • . «e • 

creation are not ten- holds that God is the efficient cause 

a ' and matter is the material cause of 

the world is not accepted. The chief objection raised 

is that as such a view is based not on the Vedas, but 

' for ri)i» fourfold olawinoation of awVedio deittio schooli vid e 
K*m*nn:a'» Bh&fya or 2.8.88 which quote* 8ai*&gam&. , 


on independent reasoning and ordinary human ex- 
perience, it should tally with what we observe in life ; 
but it does not do so. So far as our experience goes, 
a spirit cau act upon matter only through a body, 
consisting of organs of perception and movement. 
Again ffis activity is caused by some motive, such as 
attaiument of pleasure and removal of pain. But God 
is said to be devoid of body as well as passions and 
desires. In the light of empirical experience we fail, 
therefore, to understand the manner as well as the 
motive of God's creation of the world. • 

We bave seen that God is conceived even as early 
as the Vedas in two aspects : God 

The unanimous *■ . (ll 

Vedanu conception of pervades the world, but He h not 

exhausted i n the world, H e is also* 
beyond it. God is both immanent and transcendent. 
' These two aspects of God persist throughout the 
Upanisadd ' and the later Vedinta, though the ui9anings 
of transcendence and immanenctf are not the same in 
all thinkers. It is usual to call the theory of the 
presence of God iu all things ' pantheism,' and 
Vedanta is commonly describe? by this name. 
Pantheism etymological ly means ali-Goi-theory. But 
if all is God, the ques-tion remains open whether* God 
jis the mere totality of all objects of the world, or the 
totality of things and something more. When such 
distinction is made, the word ' pantheism ' is generally 
"confined to tne first view, whereas ' panentheism * (a 
word coined by a German philosopher, Xrause) is used 
for the second. t . To avoid the ambiguity of the word 

,' ' til. " Dre.xiv* brthmanorupe etc.". Brhadaran/uka, i. 3. 1. 


' pantheism,' and to remind ourselves of the fact that 
TfG-od in Vedanta is not simply immanent, but also 
r < transcendent, we should call the Vedanta theory of God 
V^plinentbeism, rather than pantheism. 

It is necessary to mention" here that in the Uf,anisads, 

and later Vedanta literature, the 

The wider and wordi Brahman, is .used for 'the 

narrower maamog, of Hjghe8t p rmcip]e Qr Abaolute 1{ealityi 

as well as for the creator of the world, 
the object oi worship. The word, Kvara, is also sometimes 
used in later literature to denote the second aspect. In 
English ' Absolute ' is sometimes used for tlie first, and 
' God ' for the second. But ' God ' is also used in a wider 
sense for both the aspects (e.g. in Spinoza, Hegel, 
Whitehead). In his Evolution of Theology in the Greek 
Philosopher (p. 32, Vol. I) Edward Caird even defines 
" the' idea of God as an absolute power or principle." We 
have used the word, God, here, along with Brahman, in 
the widet sense (for both God of religion and Absolute of 
Philosophy) and the context in each case will show the 
precise meaning. The 'use of two names is apt to suggest 
two corresponding realities and obscure the truth of one 
reality having two aspects. 

Another point ot agreement among Yedantins is that 
all of them beiieve that the knowledge 
Belief hi God start* of the existence of God is, at the first 
from an acceptance of instance, obtained not by reasoning 
Bcrfctural testimony. but from the testimony of the revealed 
boriptures. It is admitted, of course, 
that on the perfection of religious life the presence of God 
can be realized by the devout souls. But to start with, we 
have to depend on indirect knowledge of God through 
-- the undoubted testimony of the scriptures. Scarcely 
any attempt is made, therefore, in the Vedanla. as 
in the Nyaya and other theistic systems, to adduce 
purely logical proofs for the existence of God. Argu- 
ments are confined generally to 
No independent argv- showing the inadequacy of all theories 
uifnt can prove God. of God, not ba*ed on scriptures, and 
to the justification of the scriptural 
views. This attitude of the Vedanta appears to be 
- dogmatic and is sometimes made the object of tritioism. 



lb 8houid be noted, however, that even many Western 

philosophers (like Kant, Lotze and 

Testimony of Kant, Q^ers; have ever and anon rejeoted 

Lotze and othere on , ' I j _ , J T . 

tbi a , such proofs as inadequate. Lotze 

makes it clear that unless we start 
with some faith in God, the rational proofs are of little 
avail. Ab he puts it : " TBerefore, all proofs that God 
exists are pleas put forward in justification of our faith." 
This faith according to him springs from " the obscure 
impulse which drives us to pass in our thought — as we 
cannot help passing — from the world given in sense to a 
world not given in sense, but above and behind sense." ' 
According to the Vedanta also an initial faith is necessaiy 
for religious life and thought. This faith, though starting 
from q personal feeling of inadequacy 
Iteason is necessary and disquiet and a longing for some- • 
to justify fnith already ... -"*. , . B ° ... , 

present. thing higher, remains u mere blind 

groping in the dark till it is enlightened 
by the teachings of the scriptures that show the way lo the 
realization of God . Seasoning is necessary for the under- 
standing of the teachings, for; removing doubts, and realizing 
their cogency. By itself reasoning is an empty form or 
method of thinking which can work only when material? are 
supplied. The scriptures supply to reason the matter for 
speculation, argumentation and medication. T':is kind of 
dependence of reason on matter supplied from a non-ratioual 
Bource is nothing peculiar to theology. Even the greatest 
discoveries in science can be traced back to some 
non-rational origin like intuitive flashes of truth in 
imagination which reasoning afterwards attempts to justify, 
by further observation, experiment, proof and elaboration. 
" Dialectic," says Bergson, 1 " is necessary to put intuition 
to the proof." Though all Vedantins primarily depead on 
the scriptures for belief in God, they make full use of 
reasoning in the justification and elaboration of that belief. 
They learn from the Upanisads that God is the Infinite, 
Conscious, All-inclusive Reality, the Creator of the universe 
as well as its Preserver and Destroyer. Each one tries in 
his owd way to dovelop what he thinks to be the most 
consistent theory of God. 

1 LolM Oi^lintt 0/ a Philosophy of Religion, pp. 8-10. 
1 Ortttitt Evolution, p. 361. Bag. Tr. by*A. Mitchell. 



The sutras of Badarayana have for t heir subject* 

matter God and are, therefore, 
JSS to vSinu. " nam ^ Brahma-sutra. But they 

are written for man, the embodied 
son), and, therefore, called Also Sdriraka-sutra* Man, 
therefore, occupies a central place in the Vedanta. , It 
is for his enlightenment and his salvation that the 
Vedanta undertakes philosophical discussion. But what 
is the real nature of man ? The Upanisads teach ua 
that man has no existence in Jependent of God Both 
fiankara and Ramanuja accept this view. But they 
' interpret the self's dependence on God in different ways. 

II. The Monism of Sankara (Advaita) 

1. Su/tlfara's Conception of the World 

Sankara finds it difficult to reconcile the Upani- 

badic statements about creation, 

w^\ 8rB,8 „£°[ ), ?h : taken in the litercl sense, with 

bow to reconcile toe ' <• 

Upani?adic accounts of those denying the world of multi- 
creation with Mm ... 
denial of plurality ? phcity. Considered, in the light of 

the general trend and spirit running 

throughout the Upanisads, the stories of creation 

seem, to him, to be out of joint. Description of 

Brahman as really devoid of all assignable marks 

becomes unintelligible if His creatorship is real. The 

teachings about the disappearance of all multiplicity on 

the realization of Brahman cami)t also be understood. 

If the world were real, how could it disappear ? The 

dawn of the knowledge of Reality can dispel only the 

unreal appearing as real, not what is really real. ThU 

idea furnishes Sankara with the clue to the mystery of 


the world. If the world is a mere appearance, like an 
object in dream or illusion, then the 

Reconciliation lies id • 

understanding creation present appearance of the world and 
as • m»gic a ow. .^ ^i sa pp earance 0I1 the knowledge 

of R'alitji become intelligible. This reconciliation 

is suggested by the Upanisads themselves. V,veo in 

the Rg-vedV the one Tndra (God) is said to appear in 

many forms through powers of creating illusion (maya). 

The Brliaddranyaka also accepts this.* The Svetai- 

va tara clearly state s that the origin (prakrti) of the 

world lies in th e magical pqwer faiiiya) of God." ' 

M aya an a power of G od is indistinguishable from 

Him, just as the burning power of 

Maya, the radical — r~ j ZC'/T -7 "Ye t* ^ u 

power of creation u nre is from the fire itself. It is by 

i»di«i..K.ii.h«bk from |KiiTEit " God," Ihe Great Magician,, 

c onjures up t he w orld-show with 

all i ts wonder ful obje cts. The _appearance of thi s 

world is taken as real by trie ignorant, bu* t he wise 

who can-seaJihjoutfh it finds nothing bu t God , the one 

Realitjlbehind this illusory shove 

If^jBa-it ^ to under stand the pr oce6B by which 

' ordinary illusions in life take place. 

Creation understotl — „ — - — , — . _, — . . 

jn the light of an ordi we find that an Illusion, say, of 
'■■** *»■»■« snake-Tir- ~*~WPP7 "y^°0° ' op / 

ignorance of what really is there behind the app earanc e, 
i.e. ignorance or the substratum - or ground (adhisthana), 
in this case, the rope. If we could know the rope as 

1 Rk.. 6.47.18. , 

* Undro m&ylbhih pnro-iflpa lyate.' Vidt Bthad., 9.5.10 and Sankara 

s 'Mayam to jprakrtim ?idy»t, mayinam lo Maheamram.* Vid* 
Svtt., 4.10, arid Sankara thereon. • 



the rope, there would be no illusion about it. Bat ra*re 

ignorance of the rope cannot give rise to the illusion. 

For, otherwise, even a person who has never known 

what a rope is would always see serpents in things. 

The ignorance creating ap illusion 
Ignorance with its . 

doable function of con- does not simply conceal from our 

tion. e ° *" '" v i fiw * ne real nature of the ground, 

the rope, but positively distorts it , 

i.e. makes it appear as something else. Concealment 

(avarana) of reality and distortion (viksepa) of it into 

1 something else in our mind are then the two functions] 

of an illusion-producing ignorance (avidya or aj&an&l . 

When an illusion is produced in us by some one 

else, for example, when a magician 

Tie magician's show , 

deceive* only the igno- makes one coin appear as many to 

rent, bat not himself. ^ jt ». g 8n M , uaion for ug the 

perceivers, and not for the conjurer. From our stand- 
point, then, illusion is the product of our ignoranoe, 
which prevents us from seeing the real nature of the 
thing and which makes us see something else • in its 
plaee. If any spectator can persist to see the one coin 
as it is, the magician's wand will create no illusion 
for 'him. For the magician, the illusion is only a 
conjuring will, by whioh his spectators are deceived, 
and not himself. 

Ls the light of such cases, maya, the cause of the 

.y world-appearance, may also be Under- 

lie conception or .■«•.. *i 

mfty*Mam»giopower. stood from two standpoints. For 

wm'SS 8 ' °' t,,e GW. m5 y» i8 onl y the wil1 to create 

1 the appearance. It does not affect 

God, does not deceive Him. 1 For ignorant people like 


1 Brohma-i&tra, 9.1.9, Sanaa ra thereon.' 


us, who are deceived by it aud Bee the many objects 
here instead of one Brabruan or God, maya is an 
illusion-producing ignorance. IA this aspect maya is^ 
also called, therefore, 'ajnana' or 'avidya' (synonyms I 
for 'ignorance') and is conceived as having the dojbie 
function of concealing the real nature of Brahman, the 
ground of the .world, and making Him appear as 
something else, namely, tbe world. In so far as maya 
positively produces some illusory appearance it is 
called positive ignorance (bhava-rupam aj'Sanam ) ; and 
iu so far as no beginning can oe assigned to tbe world, 
maya is also said to be beginoingless (anadi). But, 
for those wise few who are not deceived by the world- 
ahow, but who perceive in it nothing but God, there 'is 
no illusion nor, therefore, illusion producing maya. God 
to them is not, therefore, the'wielder of maya at all. 

Ramagi4a> following tbe Svetaivatara, speaks also of 
maya, but he means thereby either 
iaS k o a f r "i S iyft nt ' irpre ' Go d's wonderful po~» r "f ~*f ™>«- 
. • tion or tbe etern qf, iiniywg" :, i'"° 

urima l matter which is in Br"h ™»" nr^d, whir* 1 1R r ^y 
tra nsformed into the world, dankara also speaks, of 1 
maya as the power of God, but this creative powe/i 
according to bim, is not a permanent character of Got], 
ue Ramanuja thinks, but only a free will wbicb can, 
therefore, be given up at will. The wise who are not 
deceived by the world-appearance need not conceive 
God at all as the bearer of this illusion-producing power. 
Besides, even when conceived as a power, maya is not 
a distinct entity in Brahman, but inseparable and 
indistinguishable from it as the burning power is from 
fire, or will is from tbe mind tbat wills. Even when 


Sankara identifies maya, with prakrti, he means nothing 
more by it than that this creative power is the source or 
origin (prakrti) of world-appearance, to those who 
perceive this appearance. The difference between| 
Bamanuja and Sankara, then, is that while, according 
to Bamanuja, the matter* which exists in God (and, 
therefore, also God '; realty undergoes modification, 
Sankara holds that God does not undergo any real 
change ; change is only apparent, not real. 

Illusory modification ot any substance, as of 

the rope into the snake, is called 
JEm£w5Z£ vivart >; and real modification, as 

of milk into curd, is called 
parinama, Sankara'a theory of creation, as described 
above, is, therefore, kno«vn as vivarta-vada and is 
distinguished from the Sdnkhya theory of evolution 
(by the real modification of prakrti) which ie called 
parinama-vada. Banian uja's theory also is a kind of 
parinama-vada, because he admits that the unconscious 

element in Gad really changes 

Parinama-vSda and .... ., ... , :, . 

Vivarta-vada are the into the world. Vivarta-vada and 
f Sda t0mS ° f 8at " ry8 " parinama-vada both agree, however , 
in holding that the effect is already 
contained somehow in its material cause and, therefore, 
both come under satkarya-vada, or the theory that the 
effect (karya) 4,s existent (sat) in the material cause, and 
is not a new thing. The process of the imaginary 
attribution of something to where it does not exist is 
called adkJjasS. In modern psychological terminology 

1 Bamanuja himself tries, of course, to avoid ibis deduction* partly 
by saying that the essence (svarupa) of Ood does not change. How far 
this is consistent we shall consider hereafter. < 


a process of this kind is called -projection. In all illa- 
sion there is such projection (adbyasa), the serpent is 
projected (adbyasta) by imagination on the rope, and 
the world on Brahman. 

The Upanisadic accounts of creation, then, are to 
be understood in the sense of the 

called prmkiti° n>et !' ,ie ' solution of the world oat of 
Brahman through its power of 
maya. This maya, Sankara admits, is described in 
some scriptures also as avyakta or even prakrti haying 
the three elements of sattva, rajas and tamas. Bat thu 
should not be mistaken to be the Prakrti of S&nkhya, ■ 
an independent reality. 1 .It is a power of God, and 
absolutely dependent on God. • 

Vedaota works, like the Upanisads, are not always 
.... unaniitious regarding the exact 

Tub evolution of the 

material e!em«nta oat process by which, and the order in 
which, the world's objects arise 
out of Brahman through maya. .According to a well- 
knovvn account; at first there arise out of Atman or 
Brahman the fire subtle elements, in the order — akasa 
(ether), vayu (air), agni (fire), ap (water), ksiti (earth). 
These five are again mixed up together in five different 
ways to give rise to the five gross elements of 'those 

names. Gross aklia is produced . 
T JV'L b «™.r nU by the combination of the five. 

■do the gron ohm. « 

subtle elements in the proportion, 

J aka> + i air + i fire + i water + I earth. 
Similarly each of the other four gross elements is pro- 
duced by the combination of the subtle elements, in 

* Fuhftaokan on Brahmatat.. 1.4. 8 and on SvttUtatara, 4. S 

II. * 
M— 1WB 

and 4. 11. * 


the proportion of half of thai ' element and one-eighth 
of each of the other four. This process is known as 
combination of the five" (panclkarana). The subtle 
body of man is made of the subtle elements, and the 
gross body, as well as all gross objects of nature, is 
produced out of the gross elements which arise by the 
mixture of the five subtle ones. Sankara , accepts this 
account of creation ; but be understands the entire 
process in the light of his theory of vivarta (or 

' In addition to the advantages of consistent inter- 
pretation of scriptures, the theory 

The merits of Sari- . . , 

kaia's view of erea- of vivartg, Sankara points out, 
tlon ' *" gives also a more rational explana- 

tion of creation. If God is the creator of the world 
and creates the world out of any oilier substance like 
matter, then in addition to God, another reality is to 
be admitted and God ceases to be the all-inclusive, only 
reality ; His infinity'' is lost. Bui if that matter be 
conceived as something real and within*' God, and the 
world be conceived as a real transformation of it, 
we r have to face a dilemma. 1 Either matter is a part 
of God, or identical with the whole of God. it the 
first alternative is accepted (as Ramanuja does), then 
we are landed into the absurdity that God, a spiritual 
r substance, is composed of parts like material sub- 
stances, and is consequently also liable to destruction, 
like such objects. If the second alternative (namely 
that primal matter is the whole of God) be accepted 
then, by tbe transformation of matter, God is wholly 
reduced to tbe world and there is no God left after 

1 Btahmatit., 2. 1. 86-38. 


creation. Whether God Changes partly or wholly, if 
change be real, then Got! is Dot a permanent, un- 
changing reality. He then ceases to be God. These 
difficulties are avoided by vivarta-vada according to 
which change is apparent. 

These difficulties are felt also by Ramanuja. But be 
tli inks that the mystery of creation 
Authority and reason, is beyond human intellect and we are 
to accept the account of creation given 
in the scriptures. As for difficulties, once we admit that 
God is omnipotent, omniscient and has wondeiful powers, 
nothing should be thought impossible Tor him.' Though 
Snnkara also believes that without the help of the revealefl 
scriptures the mystery cannot be solved simply by the 
unaided human reasoning (kevalena tarkena),* he points 
out that the scriptures themselves have told us how the 
many can illusorily appear out of the one. Following the 
light shed by the scriptures we can employ our reasoning 
and understand, even in .the likeness of our ordinary 
experiences of iilusion, the mystery of creation so far as 
it is humanly possible. 

(0 The Rational Foundation of, SankarS's Theory 
of the World 

If we put together the arguments used by Sankara to 
support the theory of apparent change (vivarta), and ^he 
, cognate concepts of nescience (maya and avidya) and 
' of projection or superimposition by imagination (adhyasa), 
we find that they constitute a strong rational foundation 
of the Advaita theory. Those who do not believe in any 
revealed scripture or in any mystic intuition, but try to m 
understand the real nature of the world in the light of 
common experience and reasoning based thereon, will also 
value these arguments if only for their great logical and 
philosophical merit. The followers of Sankara have 
multiplied such arguments in independent treatises in 

1 Vidt Srljh««fl on 3. 1. 36-38 «nd t. 1. 3. 
1 Vide 8»nk»r» on Brohmaiut , 3. 1. 37.* 


some cf which (e. g.. TattvapTadlptki or Citeuhhl, 
Advaita-Siddhi, Khandana-khanda-lch&dya) logical skill 
and dialectical subtlety attain heights scarcely reached by 
the most profound treatises of this kind in the West. 
While the Vedflnta was based on intuitive experience, 
embodied in the revealed texts, it did not ignore the fact 
that so long as the reasoning, faculty of man is not fully 
satisfied and things are not explained by reasoning in the 
light of common experience, there is no possibility of his 
accepting the intuitions of others however • high.- To give 
the beginner an idea of this aspect of Advaita philosophy 
we shall briefly mention below how Sankara tries to reach 
his theory of the world by subjecting common experience 
to rational criticism and logical construction : — 

' (a) If the relation between ^ny effect and its material 
cause is carefully examined it is found 
The wgnmentB show- that the effect is nothing more than 
%&£*£?£ «"> «*»* Perception cannot show 
cause. m a pot made of clay Anything other 

than clay, nor in a ring made of gold 
anything other than gold. Aq effect is, again, inseparable 
from its material cause ; the effect cannot exist without it. 
We cannot separate the pot from the clay, nor the ring 
from the gold. It is not rensonabte, therefore, to 
think that the effect f is a new thing which is now produced, 
but 'was absent before. Tn substance it was nlwavs there, 
in its material cause. In fact we cannot even think 
of a non-existent entity coming into existence. We can 
only think cf a BubBtance changing from one form into 
another. If something non-existent could ever be brought 
into existence, there would be no reason why we could not 
press, oil out of sand (where it is non-existent), and why we 
have- to select only a particular material, namely oilseed, 
to produce the particular effect, oil. The activity of an 
efficient cause, the oilman, the potter or the goldsmith, 
cannot produce any new substance ; it only manifests the 
form of the substance concealed by its previous state. The 
effect must thus be admitted to be non-different (ananya) 
from the cause, and to be existing in it from before:. 1 

1 KtctoSaflkan on, Br. «flt. 9.1,14.20; CMnd.^.1; Toil., 8.8; 
Bfhtd., 1.3.1 ; Oitt, 2.1R 



On these grounds Sankara admits the theory of 
Satkarya-viida which, we have seen, 
flankbya theory of is alsw accepted by the Sankhya. 

^fton™^' Bui he finds that the Sankhya does 
is Dot wholly conuil- . , ,, . ,. . ,.■'.. 

rot with it« grounds. Dot realize the full implication of 
Bntkarya-vada. For, it holds that 
though the effect exists previously in its material cause, 
there is a real change (parinama) of the material into the 
effect, since the material assumes a new form. Now this view \ 
amounts to lb% confession that this form which did not 1 
exiBt previously comes into existence. The. doctrine of 
satkarya-vada, that nothing which did not exist previously 
can come into existence, thus breaks down. If the grounds 
on which that doctrine stands, are sorud, then we must 
be prepared to accept all that logically follows from it,« 
find cannot hold any view* which implies any violation 
of this doctrine, rationally established. 

But bow can we, it maylie asked, deny the perceived 

fnct that the effect does have a *new 

Change of form 4** f ? g an i( Ura r ] oe8 not deny the 

wit imply change in . , , ,. ' ,, 

reality. perception, out only questions the 

interpretation, the logical significance, 
of it. Is the Sankhya right in holding that change in form 
meant a change in reality ? It wouid he right, only if a 
form had a reality of its own. But .jjJoser consideration 
shows that the form is but a state of the material or 
substance, a i>d cimnot be separated from the latter even 
in thought. Whatever statu b in reality a form may 
possess jb in virtue of its substance. We have no reason,, 
therefore, to interpret the perception of a change in fopn 
a6 a change of reality. On the contrary, it is found that 
inspitc of changes in form a substance i6 recognized by 
us as the identical entity. Devadatta, sitting, standing or 
lying is recognized as the identical person. How could 
this be, if change in form implied change in reality ?' 

Moreover, if the form or, for the matter of that, any 

quality were granted any distinct 

Form or quality not rea | itVi we would fail to explain the 

distort iron. Mb.- ^^ betwflen the iity ^ ifa 

substance. For, two distinct realities 
cannot be conceived to be related witifSut the help of a 
third entity to connect them. Now, as soon as we think of 

fitnkara, on Br. tit.. 9.1.18. 


this third entity (which mustfbe distinct from the two terms 
it attempts to relate) we have to think of a fourth relating 
entity, and also a fifth, which would reiate the third with 
each of the first two terms respectively. Similarly, these 
fourth and fifth entities would require other similar media 
for relating them to the terms they themselves want to 
relate, and so on. There would then be an infinite regrets 
(anavastha). We can thuB never come to the end of our 
supposition and there will never be a complete explanation 
of the relation between the quality and its* substance. 
In other words, the supposition of any distinction in 
reality between any quality and its substance would 
be logically indefensible. So a form cannot be (rented 
ns n distinct reality, and no change in form can be 
logically accepted as a real change, unless there is change 
in substance. 

But we have seen thnt no causation involves any 
< change in substunce. Hence causa- 

Change is rationally lion ,j oes nofc im -] y any ren ] change, 
untenable; it is an ., J • • D 

appearand. Moreover, as every change is a process 

of causation, there cannot be any 
ohange in reality. 'This nmounts to the position that 
though we perceive changes, we cannot rationally accept 
them ns real. We have therefore to understand them 
in • the same wa/ as we do, when we perceive an 
illusory object. We do perceive a rainbow, a blue sky, 
movement of the sun and many other things which we 
cannot believe as real because reasoning proves them to be 
unreal. Such a perceived but unreal phenomenon is called 
afo appearance and distinguished from reality. On the 
same ground we must call change also an appearance, and 
distinguish it from reality. We can Ihus reach, on purely 
logical grounds supported by common observation, the 
theory of vivaria or apparent change, as a rational doctrine 
required for the explanation of the world, The acceptance 
of this theory also leads us to think that our perception of 
change is nothing more than a supposition or mental 
projection of change on reality. This is but €ankara's 
conception of adhyasa. Again, a wrong supposition of 
this kind implies that we are deluded by a sort of 
ignorance, which makes us perceive things where they* do 
not really exist. ' This' is but Sankara's conception o£ ■ 
ajfiana, avidya or maya , which he regards as the cause of 
the appearance of the world. 


(b) But it may be aakedf supposing that the world, 
with its changing objects is an 
Existence alone com appearance, what is the substance or 
mon to all object*. reality which 'appears to us in various 

forms as objects ? Ordinarily we call 
anything which is the bearer of some qualities a substance. 
A pot or a ring is a substance in that sense. Hut we have 
seen that the qualities of a pot nave no reality apart from 
the pot, and also that the pot itself has no reality apart 
from its cajiBe, a£he clay, which is the real substance of 
which the pot is only one form of manifestation. But as 
clay itself is liable to modification and may cease to be 
clay, even it cannot be called a real substance ; it is only 
u form of manifestation, though more abiding than a pot, 
of some other substance which persists through all the 
modifications of clay, and is* also present in what clay 
itself comes from and in what it is changed into, after its 
destruction. If ull so-called substances ' are tbus liable to 
modification fvikara), then the substance underlying ull 
objects of the world would be that which persists through 
ull forms of objects. And we observe that existence (not of 
any specific form but existence pure and simple) is what is 
common to all lorms of objects. Existence is revealed m 
the perception ol every object, whatever be its nature. It 
can, therefore, be called the substance, the material cause 
or the underlying reality behind the world of objects. 

But when we examine the changing states within our 

minds what we also find there is that 

It is alto common to every state, every idea, whatever its 

ull menial states. object, exists. Even un illusory idea** 

which lacks an external object exists 

as an idea (avagati). A state oi deep dreamless sleep or of 

swoon, also exists, though no objective consciousness is 

present there. 3 Existence is thus found to be the one 

undeniable reality persisting through ail states, internal 

1 Modern Physios shows that even the so-c»Ued elementary sub- 
stances of Chemistry, are not immutable; that being ntade of electrons 
and protons, differently organised, these elements cau betransuioted into 
other forms. 

1 Sankara ou II r. sit., 2. 1. 14. 

1 Sankaraon cfliond.,6. 2. 1. 


and external. ' It oan, therefore, be aooepted as the 

substance, and material cause of which all determinate 

objects and mental states are the diverse manifestations. 

We find then that pure existence which is the common 

oause of the entire world is itself 

Pure existence ia the formless, though appearing in various 

ootfmon witty tobiad f ormBt . partless, though, divisible 

fiST int0 Afferent forms ; it is infinite 

though it appears in all finite forms. 

Sankara thus reaches the conception «of «.n infinite, 

indeterminate (nirvifosa) existence as the essence or 

material cause of the world. He calls this Absolute or 


(c) But is this Absolute existence conscious or 

unconscious ? Ordinarily we think 

Esi»tenc» is self- fc na |; external objects are unconscious 

£■?•? wll 00n8C, ° U8 * and th8 internal 8tete8 o£ our mind 
are conscious. But what is the 

criterion of consciousness ? A mental state is conscious, 
because its existence is self-revealing. But when we 
perceive the external world jts existence also reveals itself. 
The power of appearing (bhafci) is common to both internal 
and external forms 'of existence; and it can, therefore, be 
argued that existence which is common to the internal and 
the external wor^d must possess the power of revealing 
itself. Therefore, it is more reasonable to hold that 
Absolute existence is of the nature of self -revealing 
consciousness. In fact, a little reflection sh&ws that 
self-revelation may even be taken as the differentia that 
distinguishes existence from non-existence. What is non- 
existent (e.g. the son of a barren woman) cannot even 
uppear or reveal itself for a moment. 

But two objections may be raised against this view. 

Are there not objects which exist but 

Two objections met. do not appear before us, and are there 

not also illusory objects which lack 

existence and yet appear to be there ? As to the first, the 

reply is that the non-perception or the non-appearance of 

some existing objects may be explained by supposing the 

existence of some obstruction to revelation, just as the 

non-appearadbj of the sun, which is capable of self- 

1 Cf. Mc Taggart's Th* Naturt of Existence, for a similar modem 




revelation, is explained as being due to obstruction of light 
by clouds (or as the non-revival, at a particular time, of 
some ideas existing in the mind, is explained by some 
obstruction to recollection). 1 As to the second objection, 
the reply is that even in illusion there is existence under- 
lying the illusory appearance, and that is what appears 
before us.* Existence is thus to-extensive with the- power 
of self-revelation, that is, consciousness. 

(d) This conclusion is also strengthened by another 

consideration. Wherever there is 

ConwiouvueM pre- appearance of existence tttere is aware- 

^SeSSL^T" ™» rt riably preBeat - 3BwB ttn 

external object, say clay, which appears 
to us is presented by an awareness of clay (mrt-buddhi) a 
When we perceive day becoming a pot, our clay conscious- 
ness turns into pot-consciousness (ghata buddhi}.* An 
imaginary object is just tlw idea of the obj'ect, and so also 
is an illusory object. So we find that awareness pervades 
all forms of existence known to us. 

By a series of arguments like these Saakara reaches 

logically* what he accepts on the 

The world onginjtea authority of »the revealed texts, 

lte" NtMtew** bj namely that the world originates from 

apparenubange.' Brahman, which is Absolute Existence 

and Consciousness and that Brahman 

has the power of jmanifesting itself in diverse apparent 

forms, "without really undergoing any modification. 

Though Brahman (or Existence-consciousness) appears, 

in all our experiences, or in all that 

Brabman, or Exis- appears to exist, the forms vary. 

tenee, aa such, ii Moreover, one form of experience 

SSta"?^ <•* iU T°\ or d'eam) is contradicted 
^1, by another form of it {e.g. normal 

waking experience). The contradicted 
form is thus regarded as less real than the contradicting 
one. Butinspiteof such contradictions among the diffe- 
rent forms, existence (or consciousness) aa tueh remains 
uncontradicted. When we disbelieve an illusory serpent we 
only deny that the existence there is of the form of a 
serpent, but do not deny-that there is some^sistence. Again, 
even when we deny a dream object, we do not deny that the 

i Vidt dadkara db B/W.. 1. 2. 1. 
* Fid* Saflktra on Chind., 6. i, 2. 



experience or idea existed. And when we think of a time 
or place where nothing exists, we are thinking, of the 
exittenoe of at least that time or place. So existence, in 
some form or other, is as wide as thought, and we cannot 
conceive of the absence or denial of existence. Thjs univer- 
sal, pure existence (or consciousness) is thus the only thing 
whoae* contradiction is unthinkable. Saakara ♦ calls it, 
therefore; 'supreme reality (Paramarthika satta). He thus 
logically arrives also at his conception of realitv as «that 
which persists uncontradicted through all wrms of exis- 
tence in all places and times. 

About any definite or particular form of existence which 

may appear in our experience, we can 
, Persistence is the never be certain that it will not be 
mark of realitj and 8upp i aI1 ted by a contradictory ex- 
exclusion that of un- . ■•»,. an 

reality! penance arising in future. So the 

theoretical or logicul possibility of its 
being contradicted is always there. This is another reason 
why Sankara holds that such an object, or the world as the 
totality of such objects, does not enjoy the status of uu- 
contradictable or supreme reaKty. On account of the above 
reasons, he sometimes defines reality as that which persists 
(through all forms of existence) and unreality as that which 
does not do so. Persistence or perv.isiou (anuvrtti) is the 
criterion of the real, particularity or exclusion (vyabhio&ra) 
that of the unreal. 1 

It is in the light of this logic that we can understand 
the somewhat puzzling assertion of 
The two kinds of g aa k ara that a pot and a cloth which 
contradiction, expert- . , . *, . . ,. , 

ential and logical. exclude each other, also contradict 

and falsify each other. There are 
two J ; nds of contradiction that Saakara has in mind, 
experiential and logical. The perception of an existence 
as a snake is contradicted by a stronger or better percep- 
tion of it as a rope. Actual experience is here corrected 
by another actual experience. We have here experiential 
contradiction. This is what is ordinarily and almost 
universally regarded as the mark of unreality. 'Sankara 
also admits this. But he (like some thinkers ol the West 
e.g. Zeno, Kani^nnd Bradley) also recognizes a kind of 
logical contradiction which consists in actual experience 
being proved inconsistent by thought, or one thought 


1 Sankara on ChindT, 6. 2. 2, Brahma-tit., 2. 1. 11 and' Ofl«. 2. 16. 


being contradicted by another thought. We have seen 
previously how ohange, which is actually perceived, is 
shown by Sankara as unreal because it is found inconsis- 
tent by logical thinking. In a similar manner it is shown 
that though the perception of a pot is not experientially 
contradicted by that of a cloth, both are found logically 
inconsistent with the nature of reality. The experience 
of the truly real {via. pure existence), we saw, is not only 
not actually contradicted, but also logically uncontradic- 
table, since the contradiction of it is unthinkable. The 
* experience of a particular, e.g. the 
A particular, exehid- experience of existence as a pot or as 

i»!og?«lly r ''ope'r)" to' a c,oth » does not however possess such 
contradiction. uncontradictable nature. On the 

contrary, the very Tact that existence 
is expericnceable in different forms keeps the door operf 
to the possibility that what is experienced to have one 
particular form now may be experienced to have a different 
form later (just as what was experienced as a snake is 
experienced Inter as a rope). This theoretical possibi- 
lity of change in perception, and of consequent contradic- 
tion, then makes the status of every particular object 
precarious, in respect of its reality. We can never be 
absolutely certain that what appears'now as pot will not 
appear otherwise later. We see, therefore, how different 
particular formB of existence, like pot # and cltsth, weaken 
and undermine each other's claim to indubitable reality. 
Tf, however, th^s* claimed only pure existence, and not 
existence of particular forms, their claimB would not havr 
l>een mutually exclusive. Each would enjoy uncontradict* 
able reality as pure existence. The rival claims of parti- 
culars <i» p<ir</cu/ar existents thus prevent them from having 
the position of indubitable reality such as pure existence 
enjoys. • 

(e) By assessing the claims to existence made by all 
changing and particular objects of the 
A particular presents wor]d g onkflra dj SC0V er8 a dual nature 
a dual, ana indpscrib- ... ml ,. . , , 

able, nature. m them. These objects cannot be 

' called real in so far as they are parti- 

cular and changing ; hut they are not surely utterly unreal 
like the son of a barren woman, since existence at such 
Bhines even through their appearance, e^A is present in 
trlem. In view of this they can be described as neither 
real, nor as unreal. They are indescribable (anirvacaniya). 
The world ot appearance as a whole, and the power of 


ignorance (maya or avidya) vhioh conjures up suoh 
puzzling world, are also indescribable in this sense, 

(») The Advaita Theory of Error 


As fiankara tries to explain the appearance of the 

world in the light of ^lusory perfcep- 

MfmUfasft explana- t j 0I1( j, e an( j j, ig f ]l ower8 discuss the 

toon of error .s.pnten- nature of peroeptua , em)r vefy 

elaborately, particularly because the 

explanations of Bucb error offered by other schools make 

( Advaita view of the world inconclusive. The Mlmamsokas 

altogether deny the possibility of error in perception, 

holding like 6ome Western realists, that all knowledge, at 

least of the immediate kind, is true. If this view is correct, 

the A^vaita position would be altogether unfounded. The 

Advaitins have, therefore, to examine this view. Now, the 

Mimamsakas argue, as we have seen, that the BO-called 

case of illusion, e.g. of a snake in a rope, is really not 

one simple kind of knowledge, but a mixture of perception 

and memory, and nondiscrimination between the two. 

Against this the Ad vaitms urge" Ifio following chief points. 

The. judgment expressing an illusory perception, 'this is n 

snake' shows that there is here a single piece of knowledge. 

It may be true that the perception of ttfe thing present 

('tbis') awakens the. memory of a snake perceived in the 

ya st, bu t if this memory did not combine with the pereep- 

tioxrib constitute one state of cognition, but simply lay 

undiscriminated in the mind alongside of the perception, 

• there would have been two judgments 

It foils to account like, 'I perceive this' and *I remember 

™it, rfV^ 1 ^ a Bnak e.' or 'This is* and 'That snake 
umTij ox tne erroneous f j___ , _ ._. , . . 

jndffmenr. was.' The judgment 'This is a snake 

shows on tbe other hand, that snake- 
hood is predicated of 'This' or the present object; and there 
is, therefore, a positive identification, and not merely non- 
recognition of difference, between the two elements, tbe 
perceived and the remembered. Tn fact, without such 
identification, o?Ml)e belief that the present object is a 
snake, the reaction (suofe as fear and running away) which 
follows such knowledge would remain unexplained. Per- 
ceptual error cannot^ therefore, be denied. * 


While admitting this tile Nyaya-Vaisesika school tries 

to explain perceptual error in a realistic 

The Nyij*Vai*e»ika W ay by showing that it is only an 

gm.bonMtrf.o- e3tt J raor ' dini|ry ca 8 8e of perC epti on , in 

which the memory-idea, for example, 
of a snake perceived in the past is so vividly aroused in the 
mind (by the perception of J:he similarity of the snake in 
the rope) that it amounts to an Immediate awareness. So, 
what really exw£ed_in_ifaej3pst {e.g. the snake previously; 
per5elvSd"JlTar^ther place) is presegteijo the mind now' 
through the instrumentality of a vivid idea . TTIusTOri does 
nofT^^refdfersFoV^asThe Advaitins ttiinlr, the possibility 
of the perception of an eternally unreal thing ; no unreal 
object can ever be perceived. The present perception of the 
world cannot be. explained, therefore, like an illusion, witboui 
supposing a real world perceived at least in the past; and 
the unreality of the world at all times can never be proved. 
The Advaitins reject this, view on the following* chief 
grounds. The perception, at the present place and .time, 
of »n object which existed at some other place and time is 
absurd. However vivid the memory- 
It «pnot explain i( j ea mwy De j t w j]| he an idea of a 

pnapnted. past) and never of a ihia (object 

present here and now). So the 
quality of pretence belonging to the iltosory object remains 
unexplained. To hold that a memory-idea can really 
dislocate a real 'object from its own time and place and 
transport it to a different time and place is equally absurd. 
In any ca6e it has to be admitted that what does not 
really exist here and now can appear as present, and that 
it is also duo to our ignorance of the thing (the rope) 
existing here snd now. Construing these facts into a 
consistent theory, the Afjyni f, '"° hold that in jlfusion 
ignorance conceals the ..form of the existing oDject (rope) 
ina^OT'sTructS tastead, the appearance 6T another "object. 
The non-perception of -the existing form is produced by 
different factors such as defective sense organ, insufficient 
light. 'She perception of similarity, and the revival of 
memory idea caused by it, help 
The tempo rary erea - ignorance to create the„positive appear- 
tjoo of an larmrataTe ° , . . Jf* „_„i,„\ rn,;. 

objVt must be admit- Rnce of an ob l eofc <™ e vaake). This 
ted. apparent object must be admitted to 

* be present as an appearance, heer and 
now. It if tl te n a temp orary creation (prstn of ignorance. 


This creation is neither destribable as real, since it is 
contradicted by later perception (of the rope), nor as unreal, 
because it appears, though for a moment, unlike what is 
unreal (e.g. the child of a barren mother) which can never 
appear to be there. So it is called, by the Advaitin, an 
indescribable creation (anirvacaniya srsfci), and his theory 
of illusion is called the theory of the appearance of the 
indescribable (anirvacaniya?kbyati-vada). This view may 
appear as an admission of the mysterious. But every 
illusion does present a mystery, and flinf a challenge to 
the unsuspecting realist and the naturalist. Even the 
Nyfiya-Vaisefika realist has to admit this ; and he calls it, 
therefore, an extraordinary (alaukika),iJ»»e-eLperception. 

r The explanation of the world-appearance, in the light 

of an ordinary illusion, as the creation 

The possibility of of an ignorance, with the power of 

the iroaiediete appear- concealing and distorting reality, is 

an ce o f ^»* » ™j therefore, well-grounded. The ques- 

the Ad^tTexpUml! tion mft y stm be Bske(I ' however, as to 
tion of the world how the present world can appear 
plausible. unless there were the experience of a 

similar one in the past. But this 
would not present any difficulty, since the Advaitin, like 
the many other Tndian sohools, does believe that the present 
world is only one at a beginningless series of previous 
worlds, and the present birth is similarly preceded by a 
beginningless series of previous births. 6ankara describes, 
therefore, the process of illusory superimposition (odhyasn) 
?is the appearance of what was previously experienced, in a 
subsequent locus. 1 He means that through ignorance we 
superimpose on pure being (Brahman) the diverse forms of 
objects experienced in past lives. But even if this 
hypothesis of a beginningless scries is not admitted, the 
possibility of the appearance of existence in some other form 
can be maintained simply on the strength of an illusory 
experience. In every case of illusion the possibility of thr 
appearance of some form of existence in place of another 
form of it is demonstrated — a fact which clearly skows that 
what does not really exist now can appear as such. The 
appearance of^the unreal as real is . thus shown to be 
possible by every* illusion. 

Introduction to Br. Sftt. 

THE Vedinta philosophy 439 

The Advaitti view of error should not be confused with 
_. , that of the nihilistic Bauddba, who 

Z£*&u2r£ *** that *• uiter, y u u t' ( ap rr 

subjectivism. a8 tne world, or with tbat of the 

subjectivist Bauddha who holds that 
mental ideas appear as the external world. Because 
unlike them Sanknra and his followers clearly state that 
there is always the background of pure existenoe 
(Brahman) behind every appearance, and that this ground 
iu neither* unreal nor a mere subjective idea, but existence 

Though the world of normal waking experience is 
explained in the light of illusion and as the product of an 
ignorance like the lutter, the Advaitin, we have already^ 
seen, observes a distinction "between these two kinds or 
appearance. They distinguish, therefore, also the 
ignorance responsible for the normal world by culling it 
the root ignorance (niujgyjdya), from that causing a 
temporary illusion hy calling this latter similar ignorance 

Objectivity is granted by the Advaitin to both the 
normal world ari*d the Illusory object, 
Tbe pfTi.liur realism by admitting creation in both cases, 
or Advaiu. In this the Advaitin is more realistic 

than ordinary realists. Where he 
differs from there is that according to him objectivity 
does not imply reality, nor does unreality imply subjecti- 
vity (a positiou which, some contemporary American neo-, 
realists like Holt .also admit). On the contrary, on the 
strength of arguments already mentioned, every object 
which is particular and changeful is shown by him to have 
a contradictory nature, and therefore, to be not re<il in 
the sense in which pure existence is. 

(Hi) Criticism of Sankara's Philosophy of the World 

Many kinds of objections have been raised against 

Sankara's theory of the world. The 

The charge that cn j e f one 'is that Sankara does not 

S"™y PiainS * ex P 1ain tbe WOrld ' #** eS P laiDS ib 

* away ; that philosophy has for its 

business the explanation of the world, and if it explains the 

world away 41s unreal, it only outs away the ground on 

which it stands. But such criticisnt is rather rash. It 


is true that the task of philosophy is to explain the world, 
that is the sum total of experienced facts. But it does 
not mean that philosophy is ( committed, from the beginning, 
to the view tbat the world of common sense must be totally 
accepted as real. It must examine common experience 
and oommon views of the world, but only to judge their 
natures and interrelations, in the light of reason*, and find 
out what would be the most consistent vie,w of the world. 
But it is found, on examination; as shown by Saftkara,,that 
all experiences cannCt claim to be 
The world presents equally reliable, nor all oommon views 
different kinds of ex- about the world free from contradic- 
kTTritiSlfdiit «<>*• Of kmd of experience actually 
mioates on the basis contradicts and supplants another and 
£ contradiction. claims greater reality. Again some 

experiences and beliefs, in their parti- 
cular „ forms, are found to be in conflict with possible 
future experience. Philosophy -must, therefore, rationally 
discriminate between belief and belief, experience and 
experience, and critically assign to each its proper place. 
On such rational grounds Sankara grades and classifies 
oommon experience. As we saw, he, first of all, distinguish' 
es all objects of possible and actual experience from utter 
unreality, like the child of the barren mother. The former 
again are claosed under three heads : (1) those that only 
appear momentarily" in illusions and dreams, but are 
contradicted by normal waking experience, (2) those 
that appear in normal waking experience — the particular 
end cbaoging objects, which form the basis of our ordinary 
life and practice, but which are still not acceptable to 
reason as completely real (because they exhibit contra- 
diction or are open to future contradiction), and (3) pure 
existence which reveals itself through all experience, and 
is neither contradicted nor contradictable. 

If 'world' is the name of all these kinds of experienced 

facts, surely it will be irrational to 
The three aspect. 8fty tfaat the wor]d fl8 fl whol& md m 

r n Vdiffe«„t d gra1eso? every aspect of it, is real. The first 
existence. kind of, facts possesses only ephemeral 

•w existence (pratibhasika satta or 
apparent existence) ; the Becond empirical or virtual exis- 
tence, the sort of existence necessary for ordinary life and 
practice (vyftvaharika satta or practical existence) and the 
third absolute existence (paramarthika satta or supreme 


existence). The world is thus not a homogeneous concep- 
tion ; and if, inspite of this, oDe insists on being told what 
such a world fas a whole) is, the fairest reply can only be, 
whnt Sankrn cives, namely tba't it is indescribable (unir- 
vncsniya), either ns m>1 or as unreal. I3ut if the word, 
world, is confined only to the second aspect, it would be 
figain fai| to say, that the wrjrjd is real only for practical 
purpose, more real than the first and less real than the 
third kind of existence. But if the word is taken in the 
third sen«e, Sftnkara would emphatically assert that the 
world is eternally real. As he puts it: "4s the cause, 
Brahman, does not Inck existence at any time, past, 
present or future, so does the world not lack existence 
in any of the three periods of time". 1 Ag.iin, "All particular 
modes of existence with different names and forms art 
real as existence, but unreal as particulars".* 

It will be quite clear now that Sadknrn does not deny 
the world even in the second or practical aspect, like n 
subjective idealist who reduces it to a mere idea ot the 
perceiving individual, and who does not alh.w it an 

extramental existence. This will be 

Safikar. doo» not further Evident from the way in which 

whan, deny the he re f ute8 <he » subjectivism of the 

Vijaanavadin. 4 Here be asserts that 
the objects of normal waking experience arc not on a par 
with dream-objects, since dream experience is contradicted 
by waking experience, which, therefore, is relatively more 
real ; that external objects like pillars, pots, etc., which are 
immed'ately felt to be outside the mind cannot be reduced ( 
to the status of mere ideas in the mind, and that while 
the former are perceived by sill, the latter only by the 
individual in whose mind they are. Ho also makes it 
clear thai though lie explains the world on the analog}; of a 
dre;im hi' does not deny the diffeiencc betwten the 
contradicted drcam-expericnce and the contradicting wak- 
ing experience on which the world is based, nor does be 
overlook the fact that these two experiences are differently 
caused.* The ignorance responsible for the first is of an 
individual and temporary nature, and that at the root of 

' Vide Br. *6f.,2. 1. tfi. 
» Vtd€ Chind., ft. 3. 2. 
' Rr. ««/., 2. 2.28. 
* Ibid.,}. »». 


the second is public and relatively permanent. The first 
ib sometimes called avidya {individual ignorance), the 
second may 5. (general ignoranoo), though these two terms 
are also sometimes used synonymously in the sense of 
illusion-producing ignoranso in general . 

2. Sankara's.Gonceplion of God « 

God, according to Sankara, can be cpnemvel from 

, two different points of view. If 
From the empirical 
. standpoint God is tbe we look at God from the ordinary 

'pTteXwAtorpoS practical standpoint (vyavaharika- 

|*d of qualities. drsti> from which the world is 

believed to be real, God may be considered as the 
cause*, the Creator, the Suatainer, the Destroyer of the 
worfd and, therefore, also as an Omnipotent and Omni- 
scient Being. He then appears as possessed of all 
these qualities (saguna). G6d in this aspect is called 

' Saguna Brahma or Tsvara in Sarikara's philosophy. 
He is the pbjeel of worship. 

BnTthe w6flc*7*aT"we ba've seen, is conceived by 

r Sarikara as an appearance c which 

but this view of 

God does not reveal rests on our ignorance. Descrip- 
. , tion ot God as <he Creator of the 

world is true only from the practical point of view, x 
so long as the world-appearance is regarded as real. 
Creatorship of the world is not God's essence (svarupa- 
laksana); it is tbe description of what is merely 
accidental (tatastha-laksana) and does not touch His 
essence. , 

Let us try to understand with the help of an 
ordinary example the distinction that Sankara wants 
to make here. A fc shepherd appears on the stage in tbe 
rdle cf a king, wages war, conquers 'a country and 


rules it. 1 Now, the description of the actor as a 
shepherd gives what he is from the real point of view. 
It is an essential description df him (svarupa-laksana). 
Bat the description of him as a king, ruler and con- 
queror, is applied to him only from the point of view 
of the stage and fats rdle there; it is merely a descrip- 
tion of w,hat Js accidenfal to the person (tatastba- 
lakaana) and does not touch his essence. 

Similarly, the description of God as conscious, real, 

infinite (eatyam, jlanam, anantam 

du&MpSTeSf Brahma) J isanat'temptto describe 

i» cop«ci(}usuc8g, n*i h, 8 essence (svarupa), whereas the 
and infinite. . 

description of Him as OrSator, 

Sustainer and Destroyer of the world, or By any other 
characteristic connected with the world, is a -mere 
accidental description and it holds good only from the 
point of view of the world (vyavaharika drsti). As we 
can regard the actor on the stage from a pojnt of view 
other than that of the stage, so we can look at G-od 
also from a non-*orldly point of view (paramarthika- 
djrsti) and try to dissociate Him from the characters, 
which we ascribe to Him from the point of view pf 
the world. God in this aspect of what He really is, 
without any reference to the world, is called by Sankara 
Pararhbrahma or the Supreme God . 

For understanding this higher aspect of God as He 

The analogy of the is really in Himself (without rela- 

magiciao. • tion to the world) along with the 

lower aspect , Sankara constantly draws; on the analogy 

1 Vid« Sankara on BrahtntiHt., 1,1. 18. for the analogy of the 
actor (nat«). 
* Tait.,'2.1. 


of the magician (mayavl) &s suggested in the SvetdS- 
vatara. The magician is a juggler only to those who are 
deceived by his trick and 'who fancy that they perceive 
tbe objects conjured up. But to the discerning few 
who see through the trick and have no illusion, tbe 
juggler fails to be a juggler. Similarly, those who 
believe in the world-show thirfk of God through 'this 
show and call Him its Creator, etc. But for those 


^wise few who know that tbe world is a mere show, 
there is neither any real world nor any real Creator. 

This is tbe only way, thinks Sankara, in which we 
can understand in the ligbt of com- 

Satfuara tries to . - . r, , . 

reconcjje the imma- mon experience how God can be 
Men'de U ce n SfSd trM " both in the world and yet beyond 
it — understand, that is to say, the 
immanence and the transcendence of God, which are 
ta'ight by tbe Upanisads. The world, so long as it 
appears, is rn God, (he only Reality, just as the snake 
conjured out of the rope is nowhere else except in the 
rope. But God is not really touched by the imperfec- 
tions of the world just as the rope is not affected by 
airy illusory characters of tbe snake, or even as the 
actoc is not affected by the loss and gain of kingdom 
on the stage. 

Bamanuja, we shall see, finds difficulty in recon- 
... . ciling the immanence of God with 

This reconciliation 

is difficult for R&m&- His transcendence. He \ucillates 
in his « explanation of how God can 
be said to be htihe world and yet remain unaffected 
by the world's imperfections. This difficulty, however, 
is not peculiar to Bamanuja alone. It i«. present in 


mo6t Western forms of theism also which, like Rarna- 
nuja's, look upon creation as real. 

God as the object of worship is based essentially on 

a belief in the distinction between 

JSp" 8 o„ ly 0l,i *whe°n f *e worshipping self and the God 

Tiewed frofc the lower wor6 hipp^d. The reality of the 
standpoint. rr ' 

limited self like that of a worldly 
object is baserr on ignorance — on the failme to realize 
that God is the only Reality. Beaded, God is wor- 
shipped because God is thought of as the creator and 
controller of the world. So worship and the God wor 5 
shipped are bound up 'with our lower standpoint 
(vyavaharika drsti) from which the world appeaiw a* 
real and God appears as endowed with the many 
qualities in relation to the world. It is this Saguna 
Brahma or Tsvara who can be regarded as an object 
of worship. • 

Brahman from the higher or transcendental point 
of view (paramarthika-drsti! carinot 

is de»oid of all quad- relate to the world or to the ego. 

lies and distinctions. • 

Brahman in this aspect is devoid 
of all distinctions, external as well as internal (sajatiya, 
vijatiya and 6vagata bhedash Here, therefore, Sankara 
differs from Ramanuja who, we shall gee, believes that 
(}od is possessed of at least internal distinction fsvagata 
bheda), because within Him there are the really 
distinct conscious and unconscious realities. Brahman, 
in this absolutely transcendent aspect, says Sankara, 
cannot be described at all and it is, therefore, called 
indeterminate or characterless* or r/irguna. The des- 
cription of B/ahmau even as infinite, real, consciousness, 


though more accurate thai accidental descriptions, 
cannot directly convey the idea of Brahman. It only 
serves to direct the mind towards Brahman by denying 
of it finiteness, unreality and unconsciousness. ' 

Every quality prediiaUd of any subject is« sort of. 

limitation imposed on it. This follows 

To predicate a qua- from the logical principle of obvereion. 

lit; is to limit God. If S is P, thon it is nfit ndn-P and, 

, therefore, non-P is excluded from S, 

which becomes then limited to that extent. A great 

Western philosopher, Spinoza, recognizes this and lays 

down the dictum, ' Every determination is negation '. He 

also thinks, therefore, that God, the ultimate substance, is 

indeterminate and cannot be described 

God, from the real by any positive qualification. The 

H^ ,l, " Upanisads-recognize this principle and 

•"' deny of God all predicates, even 

worahipability.' This conception is developed by Sankara 

who calls Brahman, in this transcendent aspect, nirguna 

or attributeless. 

We have said previously that the world-appearance is 
•. due to maya. God regarded as the 

Maya is attributable VJreator vt the world is, therefore, 
to God only from the described as the fielder of mayu. 
ShebjKr " Ignorant people like u, believe* that 

the world is real and that, there- 
fore, God is reaily qualified by mays,, i.e. possessed of 
th# power o' creating the world .(maya-viiista). But 
really creativity is not an essential character of God, 
it is. only an apparent accidental predicate (upadhi) 
that we illusorily ascribe to God. God is only 
apparently associated with creativity (mayopahita). God as 
* immanent (snguna) and God as transcendent reality (nir 
guna) are not two, any more than the man on the stage 
and that man outside the stage are two. The first is only 
the apparent aspect of the second. The first is relative to 1 " 
the world, the second is irrelative or absolute. 

1 Vide Sankara'a com. on fait., 2. 1. 
» Vtdt Kena, 1. 5. 


Distinction between standpoints is always made by 

The diattoction of ™ "" ^ and i8 notbin « DeW 0r 
points of view i* made queer in Advaita philosophy as it 
fadaitylife. ^ ± ,-.,.# 

may appear to some. In daily life, 

we say that a currency note is really paper, but conven- 
tionally it is money ; a photograph is really paper but 
appears as a man ; fhe image in a mirror appears as a 
real object, but is not reaVy so ; and so on. Thin 
ordinary kind of distinction between tbe apparent and 
the real is philosophically utilized by Vedanta for 
explaining the relation of God to the world. Thus the* 
vyavabjirika and tbe paraiaarthika— the empirical (con- 
ventional or practical) and the transcendental (absolute 
or irrelative) — which the Vedanta distinguishes * are 
neither uncommon nor unintelligible. It is only tbe 
extension of a common distinction. 

Though God as creator is only apparent, yet His 

importance and value should not be 
The view of God as , . • ... 

immanent leads to that ignored. It is only through the 
as ranscen ent, ] ower standpoint that we can 

gradually mount up to the higher. Advaita Vedanta,. 
like the Upanisads, believes in the gradual revelation «of 
truth in stages through which spiritual progress takes 
place. The unreflecting man who regards tbe world as a 
self 'Sufficient reality feels no urge to look beyond it and 
search for its cause or jjrotfnd. When he comes to 
realize somehow the insufficiency of the world and 
• looks for something which sustains 

<»f Troth*' rev * ,atk>n the world* from behind, be comes to 
discover God as tfce Creator and 
Sustainer of the world. He feete admiration and rever- 
ence and begins to pray to the Creator, * God thus 


becomes the object of worsBip. With the farther ad- 
vancement of thought, so the Advaita thinks, the man 
may discover that God*, whom he reached through the 
/ world, is really the only reality, the world is only an 
appearance. Thus at the first level, the world alone isv 
real ; at the second, both' the world and Goif; at the' 
last, only God. The first Ms atheism. The second 
represents theism as we find in Bamitnnja and others. 
The last is the Absolute monism of Saiikara. Sankara 
recognized that the last level has to b9 reached only 
gradually through the second. He, therefore, be'ieves 
in the utility of worshipping God fas Saguna Brahma). 
For,* this purifies the heart and prepares one for 
gradually reaching the highest view, and without it no 
God, immanent or transcendent, would ever be found. 
Sankara gives a place even tv the worship of the many 
deities, because it redeems the spiritually backward at 
least from utter atheism, and it serves as a stage on the 
way to the highest'truth. 

(0 The Rational Basis of Sarikara's Theory of God 


' The different ideas about God, us explained above, 
are based primarily on the inter- 
fi«£kam'« conception pretation of the scriptures. But 
'i f ,°^, " , l0 B if a "y they can also be logically deduced 
f^ry b, of f Kut.£ ^om the conclusions established 
and Appearance. in the previous section by the 

critical analysis of ordinary ex- 
perience and by reasoning based thereon. We saw there 
how Saiikara demonstrates by argument that {I) uure exis- 
tence is the ground and material of all particular and 
changing forms^of existence constituting the world, (2) that 
particular objecfc being open to contradiction caunot be 
taken as absolutely real, (8) that only pure existence is 
beyond actual and possible contradiction and, therefore, the 
only Absolute Reality, and (4) that pure existence is pure 


Consciousness as well. It will be found, therefore, that 
this Absolute Existence-Consciousness is nothing other 
than God, described by the Upanisnds as Brahman, real, 
conscious and infinite. Now the two aspects of God, the 
immanent and the transcendent, can also be logically 
deduced. The idea of God, as pure existence is reached, 
we saw, through the worid 8? particular objects, by a 
logical enquiry into its.nature and reulity. Till such critical 
examination takes place, the world of normal waking 
experience passes as the onh reality. Our ordinary practi- 
cal life is based on such an unsuspecting acceptance 
of this world. But when on examination one comes to 
realize pure existence as the universal ground of the world, 

one perceives such existence In every 
8»Ku 9 a Brahro.n or phenomenon. In other words, God or 
Existence regarded as i. , . . .,,.', , 

ground of appearance. brahman is found manitesteu through 

every particular form if existence. 
Although the world appears \o him in all its multiplicity, 
God is thought to be its sole ground and substance. But 
when it is realized that though pure existence appuars in 
many iormt, these 'utter cuimit be accepted by reason as 
real, one lias to think that the cause % of th-e worid has the 
inscrutable power of munilesting itself as many without 
undergoing any real modification. Thi* metaphysical idea, 
put ic terms of theology, is nothing but the conception of 
( iod as the creator of the world and possessed of a magical 
creatiye power, may a. This is also the conception of 
Tsvara or Saguna-brahman, Brahman endowed with tbe 
attributes of omnipotence (the power of causing all thingsV 
and omniscience (consciousness revealing all forms ,of 
existence). Again, as all objects perish only to merge in 
existence of some other form, objects can be conceived as 
being withdrawn into their ground, that is existence. • God 
can thus be described as also the Destroyer or that into 
which the world's objects loncj-heir particular forms. 

But on still deeper thought it is realized that relation of 

the unreal to the real cannot be itself 

Nirguna prabman or real. The attributes ascribed to God 

Existence in itaelf. to express his relation to the apparent 

world caiAiot, therefore, be taken as 
real. Thus emerges the idea of God in JIfs transcendent 
tiifd truly real aspect of Parabrahman, tly; Supreme Reality, 
above all multiplicity and devoid of all really asoribable 
attributeu,tb» Nirguna Brahman or Indeterminate Absolute. 
Sankara's conception of Brahman, in 'its two-fold aspect 

K-1606B * 


and all ideas connected therewith are, therefore, found to 
be logically deducible also from a critical view of ordinary 
experience. • 

Like Spinoza's conception of God, as substance, 

Sankara 's conception of God, as Para- 

Thfo view is not brahman or Nirguna Brahman, differs 

TtouT' 8UPW ' from 15/e God of Beligion, thftt is, God 

conceived as an object of worship, 
distinct from the worshipper and endowed jrith Ijhe highest 
attributes. It is no wonder, therefore, that like Spinoza, 
Sankara als*o is sometimes accused of atheism. This 
charge stands or falls according as God is taken in this 
narrow sense or in the wider one, we have, previously dis- 
cussed. If God connotes, among other things, the Supreme 
Reality, Sankara 's theory is not surely atheism, but rather 
theological perfection of the theistic faith. Indeed, whereas 
athefcm believes only irf the •world-and not at all in God, 
and, ordinary Theism believes in both, the world and 
God, Sankara believes only in God. For him God is the 
only Reality. Bather than denying God, he, makes the 
most of God. This view also«nmrks the highest extension 
of the ordinary religious emotion towards God. For it 
points to the stage where love of God becomes absolute, 
suffering neither the ego nor the world. If this type of 
faith is to be distinguished from ordinary theism {or 
belief in personal God), the word for it should be, not 
atheism, but rather 'super-theism.' * 

, In connection with the process of creation, we saw, 
that the Advaitin imagines the gradual 
Three stage* of the evolution of the world out of Brahman 
ZS*5*J*E£ thl r£ h **?•»* a Process of appar- 
metaphorically con- ent change of the subtle to the gross, 
oeived. Three stages are sometimes distin- 

guished 1 in this process of evolution 
in analogy with the development of a seed into a plant, 
namely, the undifferentiated seed stage or causal stage, 
the subtly differentiated germinating stage, and the f un- 
differentiated plant stage. Brahman the unchanging 
reality cannot, of course, be,said to be undergoing evolu- 
tion. AH change and, therefore, evolution belong to the 
sphere of Maya.* 1 It is Maya, the creative power which at 

first remains unnfanifetfted, then becomes differentiated 


1 Vide Vedintciira of Sadauanda. 


into subtle objects, and tbenjnto the gross ones. Brahman 
conceived as the possessor of the undifferentiated Maya is 
named leVara, and described as omniscient and omnipotent. 
It is the conception of God existing pror to actual crea- 
tion, but possessed of the power of creation. Brahman 
possessed of subtly differentiated Maya is called Hiranya- 
garbha (also Sutratmu and Prana). God in this aspect 
would be* the totality of all' 1 subtle objects. Brahman 
possessed of Maya differentiated further into gross or 
perceptible objects is called* VaiiSvanara (also Viral). This 
aspect of God is* the totality of all gross objects, the entire 
manifested world, including all individuals (j?vas). Some- 
times this gradual process of evolution is compared to the 
three states of the individual, namely dee*> sleep, dream and 
wakefulness. Is^ax&is God in deep slumber. Hiraaya- 
garbhn is God in dreaming state, and Vaifivanara is G08 
fully awake. It should be remembered that whereas ordi- 
nnrily Tsvara implies the entire immanent aspect of* God, 
that is Brahman associated 'with Muya in all stages, the 
word i» used in the present context in a narrower sense, and 
confined only to the first stage. . 

Counting these three immanent aspects of God in 

relation to creation along with the 

The four Bepecte of transcendent aspect beyond all such 

Brahman. relation, we have the four possible 

aspects of Brafeman nflmely, Pure 
consciousness-Existence (Para-brahman), Tsvara, Hiranya- 
garbha and Vais^nara. Though these arc generally taken 
as the successive stages of manifestation, it is equally 
possible to think of them as simultaneously existing. For* 
Pure consciousness never ceases even when it scem» t to 
evolve, nor do the subtle manifestations (e.g. buddhi, 
manas, pranas, censes and motor organs) cease when the 
gross ones come into existence. 

Sankara does not seem to attach any serious importance 

to the different alternative accounts 
The Philosophy of f j^p or( j er f creation, and metaphors 
ZSZSSSr* in support thereof, though he tries to 
t explain all of them as they occur in 

the different scriptures, without any attempt to justify some 
and reject the rest . There ai% two problems that appear 
in the human mind as to the world. Qn'e of them is: 
What is the ultimate ground, suh/tance, or reality logically 
presupposed by ihe world ? The other is : Why or how the 
world originttee from what is accepted ae the ultimate ? The 


solution of the first is the primary business of philosophy. 
Sankara, Spinoza, Green, Bradley and roost other great 
philosophers of the world address themselves to this prob- 
lem. They start from the world of experienced facts, 
analyse it critically and try to find out what is logically 
presupposed by it. Beasoning or logic is the chief instru- 
ment here. We saw already how Sankara thuB discovers 
pure existence und consciovfcness as the only and ultimate 
reality. The solution of the second problem is the business 
of mythology which starts with Rod (or some other ultimate) 
and gives an imaginary uccount of why tufi how the world 
is created, imagination is the chief instiument here, and 
no logical rigour can be expected in its work. The mytho- 
logical explanation of the world has always been a pastime 
for the human mind in all lands, as all the scriptures and 
legends of the world would shew. Sometimes it is found 
intermingled also with philosophical speculation. .But all 
great philosophers have fought shy of mythological explana- 
tion. The hackneyed criticism against Spinoza that his 
substance is like a lion's den to which there are many steps 
but out of which there are none, points to this fact, though 
it misunderstands the primary business of the philosopher. 
Green 1 and Bradley 2 ulainly confess that the why and how 
of creation cannot be explained by philosophy . Similarly 
Sankara does not take the stories and motives of creation, 
described iiJ different scriptures, with the same seriousness 
with which he tries to establish the reality of Brahman* the 
ultimate ground ol the world, or expose «tbe contradictory 
character of all changing and particular finite modes of 
« existence. The accounts of creation are true, ior him, 
only from the lower point of view. 

'St Sankara's Conception of the Self, Bondage and 

We have found already that Sankara believes in 
unqualified monism. All distinc- 

Tbe self is absolute- 
ly identical with Brili- tions between objects and* objects, 

m n ' the subject and the object, the 

self and Go3i> are the illusory creation of maya. 

1 Prolegomena to Ethics, p. 93. 
* Appearance and Reality, p. 468, 


pe holdB fast to the conception of identity 
without any real difference and tries to follow it out 
logically in every respect. ,He accepts, therefore, 
without any reservation, the identity of the Soul 
and God, that is repeatedly taught in the 
UpanisatiB. •• 


Man is apparently composed of the body and the 
_ , , . soul. But the body wh*ich we per- 

The bodj ia not real. . . ... , , 

ceive is, like every other material 

object, merely an illusory appearance. When this is 

realized, the reality that remains is the soul which 

is nothing other than God. The saying, ' Thai thou 

art ,' means that there is an unqua- 

• tK tbSTS " ° r ,itted identif * between Uie - 8ou1 ' 

thai underlies the apparently finite 
man, and God. It is true that if we take the word 
' thou ' in the sense of the empirical individual limited 
and conditioned by its body, and tb/c. word ' that ' as the 
reality beyond* the world, there cannot be an identity 
between the ' thou ' and ' that.' We have to understand, 
therefore, the word ' t hou ' n to imply pure consciousness 
underlying man and ' that ' to imply also pure conscious, 
ness which forms the essence of God. Between 
these two complete identity exists and is taught by the 
Vedanta. An identity judgment like ' This is that % 
Devadatta ' (which we pasB on seeing Devadatta for a 
second* time) makes the above point clear. The condi- 
tions which the man bad, the previous day cannot be 
exactly identical with tbose he has the second day. 
Therefore, there cannot be j,ny identity between the 
man quailed* by one set of conditions with the man 


qualified by another Bet. c What we mean, therefore^, 
must be tbat the man, viflwad apart frrtmjnf* different 
conditions, is the same. .Similar is the base with flSe 
identity taught between the Self and God. The Self, 
viewed apart from the conditions that differentiate it 
from pure consciousness Is*" identical with Goa viewed 
apart from the attributes that 
identity judgment is differentiate Him frCin pure con- 

neithcr tautological _, . . , .' , 

Dor imposribie. 8ciouBnes8. Such identity judg- 

ment is not tautological and super- 
fluous, because it serves the purpose of painting out 
that what are illusorily taken* as different are really one. 
The .identity tbat is taught between man and God 
is a, real identity between terms which appear as 
different. Being identical with God, the soul is in 
reality what God also real'y is. It is the supreme 
Brahman— the self-luminous, infinite, consciousness. 
The soul appears as the limited, finite 6elf because of 
its Association witfe the body which is a product of 
ignorance, „ 

The body is not composed simply of what we 
perceive through tbe senses. In 

Tbe,groM body and 

tbe subtle body are tbe addition to this gross percept* 
pr ucw m j . ^k body, there is also a subtle 

one, composed of the senses, the motor organs 
(these two groups together being called indriyas), vita] 
elements (pranas; and the interna] mechanism of 
knowledge (antahkarana). t While the gross body per- 
ishes on death, the subtle body does not, and it 
migrates with thetsoul to the next gross body. Both 
of these bodies are the products of maya. t 


V Owing to ignorance, the* beginning of which cannot 
be assigned, the soul erroneously 

Bondage is the Bool's . . . •, ,, ... ,, , , 

aisoeiation with the associates itself with the body, 

body through ignor- gr08g and gubUe TWb ig ^j,^ 

bondage. In this state it forgets 
tbat it is really Brahman. It behaves like a finite, 
limited, miserable being" which runs after transitory 
worldly objects and is pleaeecT to get ihem, sorry to 
miss them. It identifies itself with the finite body 
and mind 'antahkarana) and think' ' I am stout,' 
' I am lame,' •' I am ignorant.' Thus arises th% 
conception of the seif as the ' Ego ' or ' I.' This 
limited e«o opposes itsejf to the rest of existence, 

which is thought to be different 

The ego (abtiu) i» f rom j t The ego is not, ihere- 
not the self i-itman). ° 

fore, the real self, but is only • 

au apparent limitation of it. 

Consciousness of the self alsq t becomes limited by 
the conditions of the body. The 

The condciouijntiss J , 

the aelf'm bondage i» senses and antankarana (the in- 

" iutc ' temal organ of knowledge? become* 

the instruments through which limited consciousntJan 

of objects takes place. Such empirical, finite kpow- 

ledge is of two kinds, immediate and mediate. 

Immediate knowledge of external objects arises when, 


through any sense, the antahkarana flows out to the 
object and is modified into the form of the object. 
In addition to immediate knowledge (pratyaksa), the 
Advaitins admit five different kinds of mediate know- 
ledge, namely, inference (anumana), testimony (sabda), 
comparison (unamana), postulation (arthapatti) and 
non-cogrititJn (anupalabdhi;. The, Advaifins agree, 


in the main, with the Bhatta school of MimamsA 
regarding these sources of knowledge. As the Bhat(a 
views have been already stated we need not repeat 
them here. * 

When a man is awake^he thinks himself identified 

Waking experience. with tbe ff«>«* body. ** ««« ™ with 
dream and dreamless the internal and external organs. 

sleep — the three levels „., . , ,, , * •,* -, 

of ordinary coqpciom- Wfa en he falls asleep and dreams, 

nMS he is Bt ill conscious of objects that 

arise from memory-impressions, and, therefore, the 

feeling of Mb limitation as a .subject or knower opposed 

to objects still persists there. When he has. deep, 

dreamless sleep, he ceases to, have any ideas of objects. 

In the absence of objects, he ceases to be a knqwer as 

well. • The polarity of subject and object, tbe^opposition 

between the knower and tbe known, vanishes 

altogether. He no longer feels that he is confined to 

and limited, by the body. But yet consciousness docs 

not cease in dreamless sleep ; for otherwise how couid 

we remember at all on awaking from steep that we bad 

,such a state ? How could we report ' I had a peaceful 

sl#>ep, had no dreams,' if we were unconscious then ? 

The study of dreamless sleep gives us a glimpse of 

what the self really is when dissociated from its' 

feeling of identity with tbe body. Tbe soul in its 

intrinsic state is not a 'finite, miserable being. It 

does not separate itself from the rent of existence and 

does not limit itself by a feeling of the ' I »' (aham) 

opposed to a ' thou ' or,' this ' or ' that.' It is also 

1 For a critical diacnBiion of the Advaita theory of knowledge, wit 
D. M. Datta, The Six W,ayi of Knowing. * 


tee from all worries theft: arise from hankerings after 
objects. The self, really, then is unlimited conscious- 
ness and bliss. * 
The Rational Basis of Sankara's Conception of Self : 

The opneeption of self set iorth above is chiefly based 

on revealed texts. But it is also 

The different) mem- fndepwidently reached by the Advaitin 

ings of 'self*' * through different lines of argument 

based on the logical, analysis of 

ordinary experience. We may briefly indicate them here. 

It should be clearly mentioned at the outset that Sankara 

does never think that the existence oi the self ( 

need be proved by any argument. The self is self-manifest 

in every one. "Everyone believes that he exists, and 

never thinks ' I am not '." * But there are so many 

different kinds of meaning, attached to ' I ' or ' self that 

it requires a good deal of analysis and reasoning to find 

out what the self really is. 


One method of enquiry is the analysis of language.. 
The word ' I » seems sometimes to 
Analysis of theraeau- implv the body (e.g. 'lam fat'), 

ings of • T shows pure Bom etimes a sense {e.g. ' I am blind '), 
oousciouanesB to be ,. , x * • , . T ' 

the essence of the self, sometimes a motor organ (e.g. I am 
lame'), sometimes a mental faculty 
(e.g. ." I am dutl '), sometimes consciousness (e.g. 'I 
know '). Which of these should be taken to be the real 
essence of the self ? To determine this we have to 
remember the true criterion ot«reaIity. The reality or «he 
essence of a thing is, as we saw previously, that which 
persists through all its states.' The essence or the reality 
behind the world of objects was found, in this way, 'to be 
pure existence because while other things about the world 
change and perish, this always reveals itself in every state. , 
In a similar way it is found that what is common to the 
body, sense, mind, etc. with which the self identifies itself 
from time to time, is consciousness. The identification 

1 Brahma-tSUra. 1:1.1.- 

• ' Vide Sankira on Br. fU., 9. 1, 11 (Ekf-rupena hi avasthito 

yo'rtbab m paramaithsb) sod on Uifa 2. 1* (Yadvisaya buddhir na 

vyabhioaratl ta£ sat, yadvisajl vytbhicarati tadaait). ' 

68— 1606B. 


of the self with any of these means some form of conscious* 
ness or other, that is the consciousness of the self as the 
body ('1 am fat'), as a « sense ('I am blind ') and the 
like Consciousness is therefore, the essence of the self 
in whichever form it may appear. But it is not conscious* 
ness of any particular form, but simple consciousness 
common to all its forms. l3uch consciousness is'also pure 
existence since existence persists fchrqugb all forms of cons- 
ciousness. The different particular and changing t forms of 
consciousness can be shown, from theft: contradictory 
natures, to bfe mere appearances, in the same way as the 
different forms of existence were shown to be so before. 

This conclusion is further supported by the linguistic 

*• expressions 'my body,' 'my sense,' 

. 'My consciousness," ' my intellect,' etc. which show that 

does not really imply the se]f oan alienate itse if f rom these 

distinction between ,, , , . , . , ,, 

self and consciousness, (body, sense etc.) and treat them as 
' external objects distinct from itself. 

These nannot, therefore, be regarded as the real essence of 
.the self. It is true, one also sometimes rfays, ' my 
consciousness.' But s^ich an expression connot be taken 
literally, as implying a distinction between the self (as 
possessor) and consciousness (as possessed), for, if the ' 
self tries to* distinguish itself from consciousness, it only 
assumes the form of distinguishing consciousness. Con- 
sciousness thus proves inseparable and* indistinguishable 
from the self. So ' my consciousness ' must be taken in 
u metaphorical sense. The possessive case here does not 
really imply distinction, bjifc rather identity or apposition 
(as in ' The city of London '). By comparing and analys 
ing the different meanings of the self expressed by ' I ' and 
' mine ' we discover thus pure consciousness us the real 
essence of the self. 

If again we compare the diree states, namely of waking, 

dreaming and sleeping without dreamB, 

Comparison of wak- which the human self experiences 

ing, dreaming and daily, we can reach the same" concep- 

Siw^nr^ tJ <> n - The essence of the self must 
•gain shows pure con- . t. ,, , .. ,, 

acionsness to be the remain in all these or the self would 
essence of the self. < cease to be. But what do we find 
* common to all theBe states ? In the 
first state there is consciousness of external objects ; in the 
second also there is /Jonsciousness, but of internal objects 
present only to the dreamer. In the third state no objeots 
appear, bvt there is no cessation ' of consciousness, for 


otherwise the subsequent memory of that state, as one of 
peace and freedom from Worries, would not be possible. 
The persistent factor then is consciousness, but not 
necessarily of any object. This shows again that the 
essence of self is pure consciousness without necessary 
relation to objects. 

But two more points of special importance also emerge 
* out of this consideration. The first 

Consciousness not one is that consciousness, the essence 
produced bjr^objeots. of the self, is not dependent on 
* objects. There is no reason, therefore,' 
to think that consciousness is produced by the relation of 
the self to objects through some proper medium. We have 
to revise then our ordinary theory of knowledge. If the 
self is self -existing and self-revealing consciousness, and 
every object also is, as we saw beiore, a form of self- 
revealing existence-consciousness, the only way we can - 
understand the non-cognition of an existing object i$ that 
there is some obstacle which conceals the object. The 
relation of the self to the object through sense, elc. is 
required then only to remove this obstruction, jus]t, as the 
removal of the obstacle of a cover is required for the 
perception of a self-revealing light. s 

The other point is that the self in its intrinsic nature, 
isoluled from nil objccts 1 as it is in 
Pure consciousness dreamless sleep, is found to have a 
"Miss. blissful or peaceful existence. Con- 

' sciousness in that state is bliBS. 

When in the light of this discovery we scan the other two 
states we can understand that even there 6ome joy dr 
bliss does exist though in distorted or mutilated forms. 
The fleeting pleasures which we have in wakeful life and 
in dream can be understood as the fragmentary manifesta- 
tion of the joy or bliss which forms the essence' of the 
self. This explanation is further supported by the fact * 
that man derives pleasure by owning property, etc. , that is, 
by identifying them with his self. The self can thus be 
explained as the ultimate source of all joy. This joy is 
ordinarily finite and short-lived because the self limits 
itself by identifying itself with finite and fleeting objects. 
Sorrow is related to want 'and joy to fulness. When the 
jSelf can realize what it really is, nam<4y pure conscious- 
ness which is infinite (being frse from all particularity), it 
ib one with thy essence or self of the universe. It is then 
above wan t and attains infinite bliss.. ' j 


It is also found from the a^ove arguments, that pure, 
existence without any specific limita* 
Brahman, pure con- tion is common to the self and to the 
MiouweKs the ground w0r Jd outside, that consoiousness is 
oi tiotn the self and , , . , ., ,. . 

the external world. « l8 ° present in ooth, though It IS 

patent in the former and concealed in 
the latter. The reality underlying the world is, therefore, 

/identical with that underlying* the self. Had the §elf and 
the world not a common basis, knowledge of the latter by 

4he former would not be possible ; and far less possible 
would be the identification oi the self with ef terna'l objects. 
In other word*, Brahman, the infinite existence-conscious- 
ness is the only reality that constitutes the self and the ex- 
ternal world. Brahman is also found to be bliss or joy, 
since the Btate of dreamless sleep exhibits the intrinsic 
nature of tbe self, pure objectless consciousness, to be 

. identical with bliss. The finite appearance of the self as 
the egg, ' I,' in different contexts must, therefore, be due to 
ignorance (avidya) which makes ft identify itself now with 
the body and then with a sense or any other' • finite 

How infinite, formless consciousness, which is the 

self's essence, can assume particular 

Maya or Avidya, the forms is a problem which we already 

principle of limitation in anot ii er f 0rnii namely, 

and multiplication of , . . 

the One Brahman into »° w P ure existence can appear as 
many selves. particular objects. As no particular 

and changing phenomenon car> be 
regarded as real, we have to face here the same insoluble 
puzzle, namely the appearance, in experience, of what is 
unreal to thought. In admitting this unintelligible fact of 
experience logical thought has to acknowledge a mysterious 
or inscrutable power by which the Infinite Self can 
apparently limit itself into the finite ego. So Maya is 
admitted by the Advaitin as the principle of apparent 
^imitation and multiplication" in this as in every other, 
sphere. But this Maya may be conceived in a collective "' 
as well as in a distributive way. We can imagine 
Brahman, the Infinite Pure Consciousness-ExistenAe-Bliss 
limiting itself by an all -overpowering Maya and appearing 
afl the universe of finite objects and selves. Or, we can 
think of each individual self as labouring under a power of 
ignorance and seeing, in„ place of the One Brahman, the 
universe of many objects and selves. These would be but 
thinking of the same situation from two different!; points of 


Siew, the cosmic and the individual. When such distino- 
lon ib made the word, Maya, is restricted, as we said before, 
to the first or collective aspect of the power of ignorance 
and avidya to the individual aspect. 

The individual (jiva) can then be imagined metaphori- 
cally as but the reflection (pratibimba) 
TV m*aphor of of the Infinite Consciousness on the 
inflection, pratibimba. finite mirror of ignorance (avidya) and 
Compared to one of the many reflec- 
tions of tHe mijen cast on different receptacles of water. v 
Just as there the reflection varies with the nature of the 
reflecting water, appearing clear or dirty, moving or 
motionless, according as the water is of one nature or 
another, similarly does the human self, the reflection of 
the Infinite, vary*with the nature of the avidya. We saw 
previously that the human body, gross and subtle, is the 
product of ignorance, and the mind (the antahkarana) is 
one of the elements composing the subtle body? The 
mind is thus a product of avidya. Now, the mind may be 
more or less cultured ; it may be ignorant, impure, swayed 
by passion* or enlightened, pure and dispassionate.* ' These 
differences can be said to constitute differences in the* 
avidyas of the individuals. The analogy of reflection would 
thus explain how the same Brahman can appear as different 
kinds of individual solves, without really becoming different 
and only being reflected in different kinds of minds 
constituted by different avidyas. This conception would 
also point to the possibility of attaining to a better and 
better realization of the Brahman in us by purifying the 
mind more and more. The possibility of a more tranquil 
state is also shown by our daily experience of dream/ess 
sleep, wherein the self, dissociated from objects, enjoys 
temporary peace. 

The attempt to understand the appearance of individual ' 
souls on'the analogy of images, is» 
The tlternative met*- called the theory of reflection fprati- 
phor of the H^'ttf^ bimba-vfida). One great disadvantage 
bounflarief. ,maglDsry of this metaphor is that it reduces the 
souls to jnere images, and liberation, 
which according to it would consist in breaking the mirror 
d ignorance, would also mean the tota) cessation of the 
illusory individuals. To secure ft stattfs of greater reality 
for the individual, there is an alternative metaphor 
preferred by some Advaitins, namely the imaginary division , 


of Space, which really remains one and undivided, into 
different particular spaces. Just as the same space if 
conceived to exist everywhere and yet it is conventionally 
'divided, for practical convenience, into the space of the 
pot, that of the room, that of a town and bo on, similarly 
though Brahman is the one and all-pervasive Reality, it is 
supposed, through ignorance, to be limited and divided 
into different objects and sftmls. Really, however, there 
is no distinction between objects and t objects, souIb and 
bouIb, since all are at bottom ttie same pure existence. 
What is illusory here (in this alternative imagery) is only 
the limitation* the finitude imposed on Reality by ignorance. 
Every soul, even when supposed to be finite, is really 
nothing other than Brahman. Liberation consists only in 
breaking the illusory barriers, and what was limited by 
them, namely existence, is then left unaffected. This 
alternative explanation is known as the theory of limitation 

Tb« attempt of Sankara and hip followers is to 
•show how the intrinsic, pure" condition of the self can 
be regained. The tact that ihe blissful Btate of 
dreamless s\eep is not permanent and man once more 
returns to his finite* limited, embodied consciousness 
on waking up, show6 that there remain even in 
dreamless sleep, in a latent form, the forces of karma or 
avjdya which draw man itjto the world. Unless these 
forces, accumulated from the past, can be completely 
stopped, there is no hope of liberation from the miser- 
able existence which the self has in this world. 

The study of the Vedanta helps man conquer theae 
deep-rooted effects of long-standing 

Vedanta helps man to. _. , lL . , * * iL 

destroy ignorance com- ignorance. But the study of the 

p,ete!y - truths taught by the Vedanta would 

have no effect ufTless the mind is previously prepared. 
This initial preparation,* according to $ankara, is not 
the study of the Mjmamea sutra, as Ramafiuja thinks. 


yha Mfmamsa, which tlaches the performance of 

Preparation, news- ^^^ *» the ™"°U 8 g^ 8 ' W8ts 

j»iy forth* study of on the wrong conception of a 

Vedinta, » not the . ° c 

•tody of any ritnalistio distinction between the worshipper 

wor ' , and the worshipped. Its spirit is, • 

therefore, antagonistic to the absolute monism taught 
by the Yedanta. Far from preparing the mind for the 
reception of the monistic truth, it only hejps to perpe- 
tuate the illusion of distinctions and plurality from 
which man already suffers. 

The preparation necessary for undertaking the stucfy 
of the Vedinta is fourfold, accord . 
J$L of'thi^nd ingtqSankara.' One should-, first, 
alone makes one a fit b e a bi e to discriminate between 

student of Vedinta. 

what is eternal and what is not 
eternal (nityanitya-vastu-Viveka). He should, secondly t 
be able to give up all desires* for enjoyment of ' 
objects here and hereafter (ihamutrartba-bbogaviraga). 
Thirdly, be should control his mmd and his senses 
and develop qualities like detachment, patience, power 
of concentration (£amadamadi-sadhana-sampat) . Lastly, 
he should have an ardent desire for liberation 

s ft 


With such preparation of tbe intellect, enpotion 
and will one should begin to study . 
.S U co„iea,pu"o?L n 4 the Vediinta with a teacher who, 
necessary for the h a8 himself realized Brahman. 

realization of trntb. 

• This study consists of the three- 

fold process : listening to g the teacher's instructions 
(sravana), understanding the instructions through 
reasoning until all doubts are removed and conviction 

• > *Vidt Sankara's Bfca f yo on tUtra 1, 1.1. 


is generated (manana), and repeated meditation oh thp 
tnpths thus accepted (nididhyfieana). 
/ The forces of deep-rooted beliefs of tbe past do not 
disappear so soon as the truths of the Vedanta are 
learned. Only repeated meditation on the truths and 
life led accordingly can gradually root tbem out. When 
wrong beliefs thus become removed and belief in , the 
truthB of tbe< Vedanta becomes permanent, the seeker 
after liberation is told by the 
Realization of the teacher 'Thou art Brahman.' He 

identity between tbe 

self and Btaiiman i>>_ begins then to contemplate this 
»fte! 10D m ° D truth steadfastly till at last he has 
aD immediate realization of tbe 
truth in the form 'I am Brahman.' Thus the. 
illusory distinction between tbe self and Brahman at 
' last disappears and bondage, too, along with it. 
Liberation (mukti) is thus attained. 

Even on the attainment of liberation the body may 
continue because it is the product 

•EJwffiS'fa of kartnas which ha ' d a « read y <*»"« 

associated with tbe their effects (prarabdha-karma) . 
• But the liberated soul does never 

agaip identify itself with the body. The world still 
appears before him, but he is not deceived by it. He 
does not feel any desire for the world's objects. He is 
therefore, not affected by 'the world's misery. He is 
in the world and yet out of it. This conception of 
Sankara has become well-known in later Vedanta as 
Jivan-mukti' (the liberation of one while he is alive). 


1 Vide Ssnkara's BnOfya ia iUt. 1.1.4 : "giddham jfvato'pi vidoaafe 
•sarlratTam ;"<slso on Eatba., 6.14 : "Atha mtttyo amrto bharatyatm 
biahma aamataute." ' ' 


1$ is the state of perfection attained here. Like Buddha, 
toe Sanfchya, the Jaina and some other Indian 
thinkers, Sankara believeB that perfection can be 
reached even here in this life. It is not a mere extra- 
mundane prospect, like heaven, to be attained here- 
after in 4 an unperceived fifftire. It is true that the 
seeker after liberation is asked to begin with some 
faith in the iifestimony of the scriptures regarding the 
utility of the spiritual discipline he is required to follow. 
But his faith is fully justified and more than repaid by 
the end it secures in this very life. 

Three kinds of karma can be distinguished. K^rams 
gathered in past lives admit of a two-fold division, those 
that have borne their effects (prarabdha-karma) and those 
that still he accumulated (saflcita-karmaj. In addi ( tjon to 
these two ktnds, there are kar,mas which are being gathered 
here in this Jife. (saflclyamana). Knowledge of reality 
destroys the second kind and prevents the third and thus 
'makes rebirth impossible. But the first kind which has 
already borne effects cannot be preyented. 'Hence the 
present body, the effect of such karma, runs its natural 
course t and ceases when the force of the karma causing it 
becomes automatically exhausted, just as the wheel of a 
potter which has been already turned comes to a stop only ■ 
when the momentum imparted to it becomes exhausted. 
When the body, gross and subtle, perishes, the jivan-muktST 
is said to attain the disembodied state of libereiionj 

Liberation is not the production of anything new, 
nor is it the purification of any old 

It is D«t a new stale . jj j s tDe realization of what 

is always there,- e'ven in the stage 

of bondage, though not known then. ]Jor, liberation is 

nothing but the identity of the 6eif and* Brahman, which 

is always r$al, though not always recognised. The 


466 an iNTftobucrioN to Indian philosoph* 

attainment of liberation m, therefore, compared 
the Advaitios to the finding of the necklace 5n 
the neck by one who* forgot its existence there and 
searched for it hither and thither. As bondage 
is due to an illusion, liberation is only the removal of 
this illusion. ** * 


Liberation is not merely the absence of all 

Liberation ', posi- mieer y that * rises from the illu80r y 
tivobliM - sense of distinction between the 

self and God. It is conceived by tbe Advaitin, 

after the Upanisads, as *a state of positive bliss 

(aoanda), because Brahman is bliss and liberation 

is identity with Brahman. * 

Though the liberated' soul, being perfect, has -no 
, . end to 'achieve it can work still 

It is not lDCompati- « 

ble with work without without any fear of further bond- 
, age. Sankara, following the Gtta 

holds that work fetters a man only when it is performed 
with attachment* But one who had obtained perfect 
knowledge and perfect satisfaction, is free from 
attachment. He can t work without any hope of 
gain and is not, therefore, affected by success or 
failure. Sankara attaches great importance to dis- 
interested work. For one who has 

inu« 9 ted alU lork to not y 6t obtained perfect knowledge, 
both tbe wise and the sucn wor k j 8 necessary for self- 
ignorant. J 

purification (atma-suddhi)"; because 

it is not through inactivity but through the performance 

of Belfless. action that one can gradually free oneself 

from the yoke ofcthe ego and its petty interests. Even 

for one who has obtained perfect knowledge or libera- 


tion, selfless activity is necessary for the good of those 

who are etili in bondage. 1 

The liberated man is the ideal of society and bis 

life should be worthy of imitation 

libSJ W "fto& 'be by the p*H>le at large. Inactivity 

a worthy ideal of » activity that would mislead 
society. » , J 

. 9 them should, therefore, be avoided 

by the perfect. 1 Social service is not, therefore, thought 

by Sankara to be incompatible with the perfect life* 

but rather desirable. In bis own life of intense social 

service Sankara follows this ideal. This ideal is also* 

advocator] by some eminent modern Yedantists lifts 

Svami Vivekananda 3 and -Lokamanya B. G. TilaS.* 

The* critics of Advaita Vedanta have often urged 

• that if Brahman be the only reality 

ai£Sri th th.^tSe' and all distinctions false, the distinc- 

jtitm between right ana tion between right and wrong also 

wrong? p & 

would be false. Such a^philosophy 

is. therefore, fruitful of dangerous consequences for 

Fociety". This objection i6 due to the confusion of the 

lower and the higher standpoint. From the empirical 

standpoint, the distinction between right and wrong, 

like other distinctions, is quite valid. For one who.bas 

not yet attained liberation, any action which directry or 

indirectly leads him towards the realization of his unity 

with Brahman, i6 good and that which hampers such 

realisation , directly or indirectly, is bad. Truthfulness, 


1 Vide Saflkara'a Bhitya on the BhugabadgVa, 4.14, 8.30-36 and 

\ Ibid. 

1 Vide bia Practical VedSnta. 

* Vide Ha GttAr</fia$ya (a Mara|hi treatiae on lh* GUa) on tie abow 
veiaaa and Introduction, tec, 12. 


charity, benevolence, Belf-c6Wrl and the like woujd bje 
found to fall under the first category even according to 
this criterion, whereas falsehood, selfiehnesB, injury to 
others would come under the second. One who has 
attained perfect knowledge and liberation would look 
back upon these moral distinctions as being relative to 
the lower standpoint and, "therefore, not .absolutely 
valid. Bu^ neither would he perform a bad action in 
60 far as the motive of every bad action is based on the 
ignorant identification of the self with the body, the 
'senses and the like, in a worn", on the*lack pf the sense 
of unity between the Self and Brahman. 1 

• A, pragmatic critic, for whom practical utility is the 
highest value, often complains that Saflkara indulges in 
visionary speculation which reduces the world to an 

. empty show, deprives life otall /.est and causes failure in 
the struggle for exigence. The reply to such a charge 
is that if man chooses to live the unreflecting life of on 
animal, or of the primitive, he need not go beyond the 
world of practical (reality. But if he is to use his reason 
and think of the nature and meaning 
Sahara's philosophy of th ; B ]( j be • j, r e 9 JBtably Jed by 
is not detrimental to , . , ... ,. J J 

practical life. logical necessity to realize, as we saw, 

' the contradictory and unreal nature of 

it and search for its real ground. Reason demands again 
that he should reshape his life on a rational basis in the 
light of what it discovers to be the highest reality. As 
a child grows into an adult he has to remodel life gradually 
in accordance with bis changing outlook* The play 
things which were once valved more than things precious 
to the adult, yield place to the latter. Remodelling life 
to suit a truer conception of reality 

J!L p, '^?Ji> e cn .*A and value cauBeB no h «m to practical 
more rational and ,•*•_. j.v *. > ■•* 

■stable basis. " ie > bui > on * fle contrary, places life 

on a* more rational, real and 
permanent ibotjng. It surely deprives life of its sest in 


1 For a fuller discussion ride Rsdhsbri»bi>an, Jnd. Phil., Vol. II. 
pp. 612-34, aVd speeches of Vmkananda quoted bj. Janics in Prag- 
matism, pp. 152 f. 



t <he sense that it controls the passions and impulses 
which push the animal, the child, and the primitive man 
blindly from behind. But it gradually replaces these blind 
forces by conscious and vntional ideals which can create 
for life an enthusiasm of a higher and a more abiding 

Ah tp the question of survival in the struggle for 
existence, it should be borne in mind 

life •«eattr° l Mi , rriMi ' thatm * hat constituteB fitneM for 
taluf . *' * " survival in the plant world, is not the 

same in the animal world, and it is 
all the more different in the human world. tSocial qualities ; 
like love, unity, self-sacrifice and rational conduct possess 
greater survival value than egoism, jealousy, selfishness 
and blind passionate conduct. And bo view of the wotfd 
and life can supply a better foundation for Buch superior 
qualities than the one which inspires man with the belief 
in the unity of all men, oil creation and, all eiSstence. 
Suchj's the view, we have found, of Sankara. ?>t hs a 
misunderstanding then to suspect it of baneful effect on 
practical Jife. The moral and spiritual discipline "which he 
recommends, aims at the actual realization, in immediate 
experience, of the unity of existent* or the presence of . 
Brahman in all things, the unity which reasoning convinces 
us to be real by ils irresistible logic, but wbipb our present 
actual experience of difference and multiplicity tries- to set 

In conclusion, we should observe that the Vedanfa 

of Sankara, in its different aspects, 

is an attempt to follow out the 

UpaniBadic idea of the unity of all existence .to its 

logical conclusion. With all its defects and excellence^ 

it stands in the history of btfttian thought as the most 

consistent system of monism. As William James puts 

it (id appreciation of Sankara's Vedanta as presented 

by Svami Vivekananda in. America) : "The paragon of 

,a>l monistic systems is tbe Vedanta philosophy of 

Hindostan." ' It is true tha* so* a system fails to 

1 Vi4t Jamei, Pragmatiim, p. 161 


appeal to those who turn to philosophy for the justifica- 
tion of their imperfect ideas of worldly distinctions and 
worldly values. Like the teachings of early Buddhism 
and Jainism, the monistic philosophy of Sankara is 
. only for the strong-hearted who can follow logic 
dauntlesEtly and face conclusions however subversive 
of ordinary ideas of reality and«valae\ But, for those 
few who have the heart for it, Ad vail a monism is not 
without recompense and is not even without emotional 
satisfaction. As James puts it: " An Absolute One, 
and I that one, — surely we have here a religion which, 
emotionally considered, has a high pragmatic value ; 
it imparts a perfect suruptuosity of security." 1 "We 
all havs some ear for this monistic music : it eleyates 
and reassures." 1 

IIT. The Qualified Monism of Bimanuja 

1. Rdm&nuja's Conception of the World 

Bamanuja takes the Upanisadic accounts of 

creation, stated previously, in a 
BSmiouja accepts tbe * 

Upanisadic account of literal sense. He holds that 
crea ion i ra y. q q< ^ ^ q . g omil jp tent, creates 

.the manifold world out of Himself by a graaious act 

ef will. Within tbe All-inclusive God (Brahman) 

. there are both unconscious matter 

The world is created .... 
by God from matter (acit) and the finite spirits (Clt^r 
which exists in Him. mi « , . .r — " V~i.i. 

The first is tbe source of the 
material objects arjd as such called prakrti f^e. root 

1 Loe.eit., p, 158. 
1 Lot. eit., p. 154. 




or origin) after the ^3vetaSvatara-Upanisad, , the 
Purantfs and Smrtis, whose authority Ramannja highly 
values. This prakiti is admitted, as in the Sankhya, 
to be an uncreated (aja), eternal reality. But unlike 
e Sankhya, Raman uj a believes that it is a part of 
God and controlled by G<5d just as the human body 
is controlled from within by the human soul. 
During" the ^tate of dissolution (pralaya) this primal 
unconscious nature or prakiti remain's in a latent, 
subtle (auksma) and undifferentiated (avibhakta) form. 
God crea'es out of this the worl; 1 . of diverse objects 
in accordance with the deeds of the souls in the world, 
„,. ... , . prior to the last dissolution. Ira- 

Tnrec subtle elements r 

are first created and pelled by the omnipotent will of 

then iiiixed up tcge- , , .._ . , . . 

ther to form gross «od the undifferentiated subtle 
elements. matter gradually become*. trans? 

formed into three kinds of 'subtle elements- fire, 
water and earth. These differentiated elements 
manifest also the three kinds of' qualities known as 
sattva, rajas and tamas. Gradually the three subtle 
elements become mixed up together and give rise to 
all jjtoss obje.cts which we perceive in the material 
world. 2 In every object, in the world there is a 
mixture of three elements. This process of triplication 
is known jas trivrtkarana. 

' Sett., 4.5 (a;'am ekarh lobita-$ukla-krsnam, etc.) and 4.10 (uiijaro 
tn prakftirh vidyaf, roajinaiii tu Mabesvarani ; tasjavayavabhattisiu 
vjiptaiii sartam idaiii jagat). ^Uso We Brahma-tat., 1.4.b. and 
Ramftniija'a Bhfyya thereon. 

• * Vide Sribhifya, VedtntatSra and Vedinkdlpa on 1.4.8-10, 1.1.3 
and 2.1.15 \note that the guna* are conceived here, after the QitS, ai 
qualities, andtae productd by I'rakrti, not aa the easencC thereof). , 


Ramanuja holds, therefore^ that creation is a fact 

and the created world is as Veal as 

^C«a*ionisareftlact Brahman. Regarding . the Upa- 

nisadic tests which deny the multi- 
plicity of objects and assert the unity of all things, 
Btunannja holds that these^ertrdonotmean to deny 
the reality of the many objects, hut only teach that 
in air6f~"theffi^Triere~~is the same tfrahnfcn, on wtnch 
all are dependent for existence, just as all gold articles 
are dependent on gold. 'What the Upanisads deny 
is the independence (api'thaksthiti)' 9/ objects, but 
not their dependent existence.' 

It ,is true, Kamanuja admits, that God has been 

• c ' described (in tlie Svetafoatara) as 

woKu^po-r *5 ^^lder of a magical power ;may5), 

real creation th»t n but this ooly means that tile inscru- 

Rj God. J 

table power by which God creates 
the world is*as wonderful as that of a magician, The 
word- ' maya ' stands for God's power of creating 
wonderful objects (vicitrartha-sargakati fokti). It also 
stands sometimes for prakrti to signify her wonderful 
creativity. 2 

liamanuja denies, therefore, that creation and the 
created world are illusory. To 
Raminnja holds that strengthen this position he further x 
all knowledge is true. holds that all knowledge is true 
' (yathartharh sarra-vijnanam) 3 and that 

there is no illusory object anywhere. Even in the case of 
the so-called illusory snake in the rope, he points qut that 
the three elements (fire, water, earth) by the mixture of 
which a snake is made, are alsp the elements by the mixture 

1 Stibhatya, l.l.lAj}. 101, B. V. Co. ed.i. 
» Ibid., p. 88. ' 

3 Ibid., p. 33. 


of which a rope is made, «o that even in a rope there is 
something of a snake and this common element really 
existing in a rope is perceived when we take it for a snake. 
No unreal object is perceived * then. The constituent 
elements of every object being in every other thing, every 
so-called illusion can bo similarly explained away. This 
theory o£ Eamanuja resembles in essential respects the 
view of some modern realists lflte Boodtn, who bold that 
all immediate experience of objectsTs true on the strength - 
of the quantum theory of Sobrodinger, according to* 
which each of the electrons, which compose material 
objects, pervades the whole world, so that "Everything is 
immanent in everything else." 1 

(0 .Ramanuja's Criticism of the Advaita Theory 
of Illusion 

Bimimuja, who lived long alter Sankara, had the 

f opportunity of criticizing severely 

TlMdifflcnltiesofthe the views of Sankara as well as of, 

IgDjr'anoe. *°' y ° n ' s followers, in the course of his 

commentary on the Brahma-sutra. 

We are indebted to him for exposing many o{ the obscure 

points of the Advaita school. Though the charges raised 

by B&miinuja have been replied to by the Advaitius, they 

have* great value for understanding more clearly both 

Raman uj a and Sankara. We shall mention here 

Bamamija's chief objections against the Advaita theory of 

Maya or ajiiana and also show briefly how they can *be 

met from the stundpoiut of Sankara. 


Where does the Ignorance (ajniina), that is said to 
produce the world, exist ? It cannot be said to 
exist in, an individual self (jiva), 
(1) Where does Ignor- because individuality is itself produced 
mice exut ? by Ignorance and the cause cannot 

• depend on its effect. Neither can 

Ignorance be said to be in Brahman, because then it 
ceases to be omniscient. > 

1 Vide J. B. Boodln'a paper on ' Functional Realism, The Philo- 
lOphiealRetiet, March, 1084. 
CO -1605 B 



The reply to this, in defend* of Sankara, would be that 

even if lguoranee be said to be in tub 

Thew difficulties are individual self, the difficulty arises 

based on some miscou- only if we regard the one as preceding. 

ceptioDB. the other. But if we regard ignorance 

and individuality as but th e twoj nter- 

d epende nt aspects of the -^ame Jact, as a circle and its 

c irouml ereffpT"or~ a triangle and its~sid§8ror"fathernood and 

Bonsnipi the difficulty does not a/ise. Sut if on the other 

band, Brahman be regarded as the locus of Ignorance, oven 

then the difficulty can be removed by removing a misunder- 

> standing on which it is based. Maya in Brahman is 

lguoranee only in the sense of the power of producing 

ignorance and illusion in individuals ; it does not affect 

Brahman any more than the magician's #ower of creating 

an illusion affects his own knowledge. 

It 'is said , that mays or jjfiana conceals the real 

' nature of Brahman. But Brahman is 

'2> Tf Ignorance con- admitted to be essentially self-'reveal- 

ceals Bwhman^hen mgi If ^^ emw& i 9 Brahman it 

'nature is^eatroy *d!" S means th(Jt His self-revealing nature 

is* destroyed by it and Brahman 

ceases to be. 


The reply to this ft that ignorance conceals Brahman 

in the sense of preventing the ignorant individual from 

realizing His real nature, just as a patch of cloud conceals 

the sun by preventing a person from perceiving the sun. 

So Ignorance does no more destroy the nature of Brahman 

than the cloud destroys the self-manifesting nature of the 

sun. , Self-manifestation means manifestation of itself in 

the absence of obstacles — and not inspite of obstacles. 

The sun does not cease to be self-revealing because the 

blind cannot see it. 
c ■ 

What is the nature of the Ignorance ? Sometimes 

the Advaitios say that muyS is in- 

(8) Ignorance is said describable (anirvacaniya), it is neither 

!?™.? e h,!i e ^LT real no « unreal - Th » '» absurd- 
unreal, but jnuescrib- u , . . . 

aole . Because our experience shows tjiat 

* things are either real or unreal. How 
can there be a third category besides these two contradic- 
tories ? • ' 


The reply to this is that rgaya, as well as every illusory 
* * object, is said to be indescribable 

Tbe real meaning of owing to a genuine difficulty. In so far 
'indescribable' (anir- as it appears to be something, an illu- 
vacanlya). 8 j on or j]] usor y object cannot he said 

to be unreal like a square circle or the 
son of a barren woman, which never even appears to exist. 
Again in^o far as it is sublatecf *or contradicted afterwards 
by Borne experience, it cannot be said to be absolutely real 
like Atman or Brahman whose reality is never contradicted. 
Maya and every illusory object have this nature and 
compel us to recognize this nature as something unique 
and indescribable in terms of ordinary reality or unreality. 
To say that maya is indescribable is only to describe a fact, 
namely, our inability to bring it under any ordinary cate- 
gory, and it does not mean 'any violation of the law of 
contradiction. In fact as ' real ' means here the ' abso- 
lutely real ' and ' unreal ' ' # the absolutely unreal,' they do 
not constitute a pair of contradictories any more thar* two 
words fike 'extremely cold' and 'extremely hot* do. 

> > 

Again Sometimes, may% or avidya is said by the 

Advaitins to be positive ignorance 

u> How cap igno (bhava-rupum aifiunam). ThiBisalso 

r»DCP be positive ? V- ,_ , r J.. ' , 

nu'UUlngless. ignorance^means want 

of knowledge, and how can it be positive then,? 

TJje reply* in ^defence would be that as the illusion- 
producing ignorance is not merely an absence of the know- 
ledge of the ground of illusion, but positively- makes this* 
ground appear as some othe/ object, it is properly des- 
cribed as positive, in this sense. 

Grunting that mayii is something positive, how can 
it be destroyed by the knowledge of ' 
WHowcarutesitive Brahman?* Nothing that positively' 
Ignorant be destroy ^.^ cft|| ^ removed £rom ex i sten ce 

by knowledge. 

The »reply is that if the word 'positive' be understood 
in the sanse given above, this misunderstanding would not 
arise. In our daily experieace of illusory objects, like 
the .serpent in a rope, we find that the object positively 
dppears to be there and yet it ,vanisbe% when we have 
a clear knowledge f the ground of the illusion, viz. 
the rope. 


2. Ramanuja' $ Conception of God 


God, according to Ramanuja, is the. Absolute 

God i. the Abaolute RCalit y PO"*** ° f *™> *teg»l 

fieaiity, possessed of parts* matter and the finitf spirits. 

matter and finite sools. ^ , . 2 , . ,.,-,, 

Brahman is thg only reality in the 
universe in the sense that outside or^independedt of 
God there it no other reality ( Bot God contains within 
Himself the material objects as well as the finite souls 
which are real. The Absolute One contains the many., 
Xhis monism of Ramanuja. is known, therefore, as 
Vifistadvaita which means the Unity (advatta^ of 
Brahman possessed (vifista) of real parts (the conscious 
and the unconscious). It is not a distinctionlesi unity. 
Three'typee. of distinction (bhedaj are generally distin- 
guished by the V/jdantins. The distinction that 
anything — say, a cow — has from things of other classes,* 
such as horses, asqps, is called heterogeneous distinc- 
tion (vijiitrya-bheda). The distinction that one cow 
has from' another cow (i.e. an object of the same' class) 
' is called a homogeneous* distinction (sajattya-bheda). In 
addition to these two kind* of external distinction*-, 
there i« a third kind, i.e. internal distinction (svagata- 
bhe'da), which exists within an object, between it- 
different parts, such as between the tail and the legs 


of the same cow. In the ligbt of this threefold 
classification of distinctions, Ramanuja holds* tbat 
Brahman is devoid of the two kinds of external distinc- 
tions (vijatlya and sajarfya), because there is nothing 
besides God, either similar or dissimilar to Him. ' But 
God is possessed of internal distinctions (svagata-bheda), 
as there are within Him different cotiscjous and 


unconscious substances jwhich can be mutually dis- 


God is possessed of an ipfinite number of infinitely 

good qualities such as omnipotence, 

qwalitie^" 8 " '"^ omniscience, benevolence. There- 

9 lore, *@od is not characterless' 

(nirguna\ or indeterminate, but possessed of qualities 

(sagona*). When the Upanisads deny qualities of 

Brahman, tbey really mean that God is free from all 

bad qualities or imperfections. ' God really creates the 

world, sustains it and withdraw:: it. Even when the 

world is withdrawn and 'itB objects are destroyed, there 

remains in God matter in an undifferentiated, homo- 

geneous state, as well' as the souls, because both are 

eternal. Objects made bj the modification of matter 

undergo 1 change, growth and decay, but mat'ter out of 

which they are created always remains there. Similarly . 

the spirits always remain, though their bodies may 

change or perish. In the state of dissolution, when 

objects are absent, Brahman remains with pure matter 

and bodileBS souls in an unmanifested form (avyakta). 

This may be called the caufcal 

fe£d "»«.' " Dffi "" 8tate ° f Brahman ikarana-braBma). 

When again objects are «reated, 
God betimes manifested as the world of objects and 
embodied 6ouls. This second manifested form of God* 

may be called its effect-state (karya- 
G«'eBt. brahma). Those texts of the 

ta rfffCt. 

• Upanisads which deny the existence 

qf objects and describe God negatively as being beyond 


' * Nirgu?«-*4d4«c» pvusya Vabmnpo beya-gnijisanibandhBd 
npkptdjNurta'-Sribhio*. U.l- 'p. 103, K. V. Co. edi). 


thought, speech, etc. really indicate the unmanifested * 

state of Brahman. 1 . * 

If matter and spirits are parts of God, as Ramanuja 

repeate'dly asserts, then does not God 

KamSnnjft's difficul- really undergo modification with the 

ties regarding the rela- h fln ge of matter? Does He not 

tion of God to matter . , i_- _. _. _.i_ _• • 

' and spirita. become jilso subject to the pisenes 

from which the spirits suffer? Are 
not then all the imperfections and defects which we find 
in the world really in God ? In the face of tfcese dffficulties 
Ramanuja seems to give up sometimes the imagery of parts 
and whole and employ other similies. Sometimes he takes 
recourse to the analogy of the body 'and the soul. God is 
the soul of which the material objects and spirits compose 
thfi body. Just as the soul controls the bwly from within 
so God controls matter and spirits. He is thus conceived 
as the Antaryamin or regulator of the universe from within. 
With tBe help qf this analogy, Ramanuja tries to explain 
away .the charge of God's being subject to miserly and 
imperfection^ Jbe-seuir -he -fays, is not affected by the 
bodily changes and imperfections ; similarly Gttd is not 
affected by the changes in tne universe ;. He remains 

. beyond them or transfcends them. Sometimes again 
Ramanuja tries to prove God's immuhity_by_ thej_Djalogy of 
the king and his. subjects. The ruler,' inspite of having a 
body, is not aflbcTecTByThe pleasures and pains suffered by 
the subjects owing to their obeying or disobeying the ruler's 
laws. 2 Thefce explanations of Ramanuja show that he is 
npt very sure in his mind-tiff to the exact nature of the 
relation between God and the universe. The relation 
between the soul and the body is surely very much different 
from that between the king and his subjects ; and none of 
these two again contains the relation of whole and parts. 
Besides, when Ramanuja also speaks of the universe as a 

'qualifying character (visesana) and God as the substantive 
(visesya). it is difficult to understand how God remains 
unaffected by the imperfections of the universe. Ramanuja 
himself is aware of the unsatisfactory character, of his 
explanation and in one place he makes an important 
confession which is not harmony with his general 
position. The essence (svarupa) of- God, he says there, 

• Ibid, 1.1.1, 1.1.2,9*1.18. 

* Jb«.,2.1.1_. 


remains unchanged by changes in the Universe, and, ' 
iherofora, God is unaffected. 1 If this admission is to be 
logically followed, then, Bamanuja has to admit further 
that matter which is subject to change is not essential and 
internal to God, but externally related to Him. Then his 
central theory that matter and spirits form real parts of 
God and God is really qualified by them becomes con- 
siderably weakened. To oonceive matter and spirits as 
really existing within»God and as really undergoing change, 
and to hold at the same time that God is not affected by 
these changes, is to* bold a very precarious position. 

Raiuaauja's conception of God is a kind of theism. 

Theism, in this narrow sense, means 

iuutoujrt vie* 8f be i ief Iri God who iB i^h i, nman ent 

uod i» theism. 

and transcendent, 2 and is .also a 

Person, i.e. a self-conscious being possessed of, will. 

We have seen that all these characters are present in 

Raman ujafs -conception of 4io(L , 

God is the object of worship* and the goal of our 

religiouK aspiration. It is by pleasing God_ through 

prayer Ihat we i-an obtain salvation Mirough -His 


3. Ramiinuja's Conception of the Self, Bondage ' 
and Liberation * 

Riimanuja holds that the identity between God and 
» man taught by the Upanisads is 

Betweeu self utid i c i " v. 

God tbet» is identity not realty an unqualified one. It 
„ well h difference. jg U|lthinkab i e that man who is 

finite can be identical with God in every respect. 
Man is nut different from God in the sense that God 
pervades and controls man as well t as overy other 

» Ibid. 

* Vidtyfutii, Tht Realm of Ends, p. 234.. 


thing in the universe. Just ate the existence of a pwt^ 

is inseparable from the whole, that of a mode or 

quality from its substance", or a living body from the 

^oul which controls its life from within, similarly the 

existence of man is inseparable from God. Identity 

cannot be asserted, it is true, between two altogether 

different terms ; but it is also meaningless te assert any 

identity between exactly identical terms ; because it 

would be a needless tautology. Identity can be asserted 

between two forms of the same substance. The 

statement, 'Thisisthat' Devadatta asserts, for example, 

' identity between the person seen at present and the 

person keen in Jhe past. The person can be understood 

" as the same in spite of different 

•ZtiJiaS?* " f P° sitionB » 8ince ,he positions are 
« occupied 'at different times. The 

Upanisadic dictum 'That thou art ' (Tat tvam asi) 
should be understood in a similar way. ' That ' stands 
for God, the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the uni-' 
verse. ' Thou ' stands for God existing inHhe foren of 
man, the embodied soul (acid-visista-jlva-sarirakam). 
Tl\e identity asserted' here, is, therefore, between God 
with certain qualification and God with certain other 

qualification — an identity of the two 

Qualified monism. , , iV 

<■ forms of the same » substance 

* (vismtasyaikvam). In view of this Ramanuja's philo- 
sophy is called Visistadvaita or the identity of the 

1 Vide Sribh&iyf, fc 1 1.1. ( " Prakaradvaya-viAialaika-taatn-prati- 
p&daoena ttauiaoadhikaraQyaih ca aiddbam." (Pp. 94-96 of B.V.Co. 


Bamanuja's conception of the relation between the self 
and God is a veritable ' Se>4)onisn bog ' which allows no easy 
footing-to any well-known logical category (such as identi- 
fy, difference and identity-in-difference). While refuting 
Sankara's view that this relation is one of identity (aiblfeda) 
he emphasizes so much the difference between the sell and 
VrTod that the reader would be quite justified to suppose 
that Recording to Rumiinuja the relation is one of' 
difference (bheda). 1 This supposition is further confirmed 
when one reads Lis commentary on Badarayana's sutra 
(2.1.22) whiqh points out that Brahman is other than thje 
embodied Bell. But the impression is reversed when one 
reads Ti is commentary on the sutra (2.1. Id) teaching the 
non-differenc e (ananynty n^ nf thi» wnrl d finnlnding *h» 
Jivas) ~ f mui i t s cause , Brnbman. He ^hus seems to support- 
two contradictory views. , » 

ThiR conflict disappears, however, on reading his com> 
mentary on the sutra (2.3.42) purporting that the 
individual self is u pint of Brabmnn. » For, Ram&nuja 
cleiwly says there that if the self is regarded as if part of 
Brahman we can reconcile the two opposite .kinds of 
teaching's of the revealed texts and of the aforesaid 
Biitrns, namely" there is ^difference (bheda), and 
that there is also identity ,(nbh'eda) between the two. 
Tn short) as there are both difference and identity 
(bhedabheda) between the part and the "whole, so also 

i the " " * " ' 

lilar relation between the self and God. 

> It is reasonable to conclude then that .according to 
Rumunuja, in different respects, there are different kinds 
of relations between the self and God. Tn so far as die 
self ia finite and subject to imperfection, and God is. just 
the opposite in nature, there is difference; in so far as the 
self is insep.iiable from God who is its inner substance 
(ntma) there is identity (abheda or anany&tva or 
tadutmjtf)* ;" but as the self is a part of God, both identit* 
and difference are tenabliy This is the final impression 
cheated by Bamdnuja'a writings on many competent 
readers, among whom there is no less an authority tbnn 
Madlfevaciirya, who says m the SarvadarMina-sahgraha 
that -Rdm&nuja believes in all kinds of relations, bheda, 
abheda, and bhedahbeda, in different respects. 

1 Vide'jitibhiwa 1,1 A, passim. t * 

M All tWe vcrdn am nseJ l>,y R&uiftiiuja. 

61— 160(fe 


But unfortunately even this well-founded conclusioi 
regarding Ramanuja's view re&ives a rude shook from 
his rather surprising statements here und there iet whicl 
he launches a wholesale attack on all the three kinds oi 
philosophers who advocate respectively identity (abheda) 
r difference (bheda) and identity -in-difference (bbedtibheda). 
The reader is thus swept away even from the last footholc 
and is left wondering whether* the writer who rep%atedlj 
demolishes his position, as soon as established, knows hie 
own mind ; and whether he Bole purpose is only to destroy 
the positions of others without constructing a$.y of bis own! 

One can understand why Ramanuja should reject un 
(qualified identity (abheda) or difference (bheda); but it if 
difficult to see why he criticizes even the theory of identity- 
in-differeuce (bhedabheda), if he himself advocates the 
view that both difference and identity, a*s taught by the 
scriptures, are real. It appears that in criticizing, the 
advocate^ of bhediibbeda, he has two claBseaof them in 
.mind : (1) thosa who hold that* the self is nothing but 
Brahmtm imagined as limited by some extraneous or 
accidental, adjunct (upfidhi) — juot as the space of the room 
is nothing but the all-pervasive space imagined as* limited 
, by the room ; und (2) those who hold that the self is but a 
'mode of Brahman who nas really assumed a finite form. 2 
In respect of the farmer, RFimfinuja's objection is that as 
they hold that the self i^ really Brahmnn (the distinguish- 
ing limiting adjunct being imaginary), the i mperfection s 
of the self would also really belong to Brahman. An 
respect of the latter, he points "out TBaT as Brahman 
according to them is really reduced to a finite Belf, He 
really becomes subject to all, the imperfections of the 
latter. But these objections are obviated, he further 
points put, by his own theory according to which the 
conscious souls (cit) and unconscious matter (acit), though, 
possessing different natures (svarupa) from the alkinclusive 
Brahman, are eternally nnd inseparably related to Him 
as parts to their whole, effects to their material cause, 
attributes to their substance. 

What Ramanuja struggles to make out is. that 

Brahman never becomes in any way a sr>(f, just fs I he 

whole never becomes a part, or .a substanco never becomes 

fin attribute. , Brahman is eternally ' Brrihman, and rhp 


1 E.g. Rnhhapja, 1.1.1. fp. Of,)*; 1.1.4 
. ' Ibid, p. 97. ' 


, selves within Hitn eternally exist as such. But how then 
can Rifttr&nuja speak of Brahman as the' cause 'of the 
Jiva (or of mattei) if the letter does not arm from the 
former ? It would appear that -by calling Brahman the 
causo he does not mean the immediate unconditional 
antecedent but only the material or the substance. God . 
as the> ultimate whole of daietence (sat) is the substance 
•eternally underlying all finites. The whole doeB not 
precede the parts 1 , nor do parts succeed the whole. 
Brabmsth alwiys exists as a whole possessed of parts, and 
never becomes, parts, and therefore, dees not 6ccot»4 
subject to the imperfections of the parts. 

Though it is douutful whether this analogy of the part 
and Ibe whole saves Brahman from all imperfections, it 
would be uiear iromthe above that Ramunuja's objection is 
not so much against the relation of identity-in-differeuce as' 
such ( himself advocates under eutra 2. 3, 42) but 
against the particular idrmulations of H. Identit\>in- < 
difference means, for him, identity of the one* iubt- 
tancc existing in two real forms ('ekameva vastu dyirupam 
pratiyato" ; ' prakara-dvay|vasthitatvat samanadhikaranya,- 
sya' -). What he rejects are (1) jdentity of the one subs- 
tance appearing as two owing to misconception, and (2) 
identity of.tbe one which has become really two. Between 
the whole and the part there is identj^ty-in-difference, .not of 
any of these last two kinds, but of the first kind. The 
wboje really possesses different parts from which it is 
always different as a whole, but the same identical whole is 
also in every part, though it does not become reduced to 
many (in which. case the whoje would be divided and Cfase 
to be a whole). 

Tl will also be found that in upholding the unity»of the 
substance, and making it the foundation, and in treating 
multiplicity only us u dependent character of the one,* 
Riimiinuja's emphasis is on the aspect of identity rather, 
than on that of difference, though he treats both as real. 

This view also enables us to distinguish the position of 
Ramamija from that of Nimbarka, tor example, who too 
believe^ in a kind of identity-in-difference (bhedabhedu). 
As (ihate rightly points out, "Thus we see that ths 
doctrine of Nimbarka has very much in commpn with that 
•f Ramanuja, both regard the differeucetis well as the non- 

* Ibid. p. 400. 
1 Ibii. p. 94. 


difference as real. But, for NinSbarka, difference and nou- 
differenoe are on the same level, they co-exist and Have the 
same importance; while for, Bamanuja, non-difference is 
tho principal ; it is qualified by difference, which is thus 
subordinate to it. 1 This also explains why Riimanuja's 
philosophy is called qualified monism, rather than qualified 
dualism or moDism-'uualism («kaittidvaita). • 

The extremely puzzling statements of Ramanuja, 
regarding his attitude to identity,* difference, and identity,- 
in-difference tempt some writers to avoid (fee attempt to 
bring his view ,under any of these usual categories of rela- 
tion ; and lead them to hold that Ramfinuja's conception of 
the relation between self and God, is *a category by itself ; 
it is inseparability faprthaksthiti'). But this is merely 
giving up the game of logical understanding. For, insepa- 
rability of existence is itself a vague relation, admitting 
of various formulations. Even Sankara's conception of the 
relation between the effect and the cause (ananyatva) can 
tome under this. Besides, logical thought is not silencer! 
by this new-fangled name ; <it requires to understand 
what this relation means in terms of identity anM differ- 
ence; or, failing this, why tin's relation defies such affilia- 
tion. We have seen aoove that it is possible to interpret 
Bamanuja 's conception as one of identity-in-diffarence of a 
specific kind,* and that he himself accepts this io 
some 'places. There *is no necessity, therefore, of 
dodging the issue by resorting to a ' blanket term ' Qjkc 
'aprthak-sthfti' or 'aprthaksiddhi') which conceals, rather 
(Ivan explains the difficulty. 

Man, according to Rar»anuja, has r real body and 

a soul. The body is made of matter 

iaS" S a " d "hid. » » Part of" God. It » obvi- 
« ously finite. The houTiK.^f course, 

uof made ; it is eternally existing. Tt is also a part of 
God, and cannot, therefore, be infinite. The all-perva- 
sive nature of the soul which the Irpatiiaads de'scribe 
cannot, therefore, be taken. *in the literal sense. The 
real sense of* the pervasiveness of the soul is that the 
soul is so suMJefsfiksmfc) that it can penetrate into 

1 V. S. (Jbalfc The Veddnia, ji. 3:4. * 

TfalL ViLDiNTA raiLosoi'H* 485 

every unconscious uiatcral'teubstauce. 1 Having denied 
that the soul is infinite, ltamauuja 

bu'Snt^ir 1 gnjnaoisra T»^i^ iyisar 

(anu). For, if the soul has neithei 
of these two extreme dimensions, it rnqst be admitted 
to have the medium oiiefwhicfi HiiugT composed" Tiy 
the coiimfrialipn 61 "parTs"' (such as tables and chairs) 
have ; and then like such objects the 6011I also would 
be liable to destruction. The consciousness of the 

soul is not accidental to it ; it is uol 

Consriouine<s it (he 

ciieniial quality of* dependent on its connection wit» 

the sou!. . 1 . , . 

the body. Consciousness is an 

intrinsic quality of the soul and it remains midvr all 

coDdit'ons. In dreamless sleep and even in > tfie 

>t<Ue of liberation, when Uie sonl is altogether dis- 

embodicd, the soul remains conscious of itself as ' 1 am.' > 

The soul is, therefore, identified' by Kamanuja with 

what we mean by the word ' 1 ' or the ' ego/ (aham).* 

The bondage of the soul to tne body is due to its 

"* ' ' karoia. Ae the effect of i,ts karma, 

cular kind of bodv it deserves. 
Being embodied, its consciousness is limited by the 
conditions of the organs of knowledge, and the bodj it 
possesses. ' Though the soul is in6nitely small, it, 
illumines or renders conscious every part of the body • 
in which it is, just as a small light illumines the entire 
room in* which u is. It identities itself with the l>ody 
and regards it as itself. Egoism (ahaukaru) is a name 

, " v)»pi, ati-auk?matsy» farvicetanftutab-piavfayia-ivabbavahV' 
Stibhifpt, 1.1.1. # » 

* " 8varflpeij»^v» abaiuwlbilji aim*;" " miikUu api ahajuartlu^ 
pnkUttc,'; fUd. • 


for this identification of ttoe self with the not-setf . 
Avidya or ignorance consists in this bane propensity. 1 
Karma also is sometimes* identified by Raraauuja with 
this ignorance. 

The attainment of liberation must be. sought 
The liberation of the thrqugh work and knowledge, 

soul is sought throogh , • . . 

work »ud knowledge. because fhey pave the # way for 

devotion. By work (karma) Ramanuja means hera 
the different'obligalory rituals enjoined by the Vedas 
on persons according to their respective castes and 
stations in life (varnasrama).. These 'should be per- 
formed life-long as bounden duties without any "desire 
for reward, like heaven. I^isinterested 'performance 

• * . of such duties destroys the uccumu- 

The nec«!3flty of per- ^ 

forming, ptuals for luted effects of the pa*t deeds 
^ es rojmg armas. w hich Kta'nd in the way of know- 

ledge. For the correct performance of these rituals it 
is necessary to study the Mimamsa philosophy. 
Ramanuja regards, therefore, the study of the Mimamsa 
as a necessary prerequisite to the fetudy of *ihe 
Vedanta. By the study of the Mimamsa, and perfor- 
mance of the duties if t itp light, one conies to realize 
also that the sacrificial riles cannot lead to any 
permanent good and cannot help man to attain salva- 
tion. This persuades him to study the Vedanta. The 

• Vedanta' reveals to him the real 
kSfil nature of the Universe. He § cornea 

to know that God is the creator, 
sustainer and controller of all beings, and that his soul 
is not identical with the body, but is really a part, 

• c 

1 " ftarfragocara cu shambuddbir uvidyaivu ";' " anatmaui debe 

ahauibbftva-karanu-hstutvepa ahafikArah," Ibid. • 


■ \ 
of God Who controls it fromtwithin. He further learns 

that liberation can be attained not by ' study and 
reasoning,' but only if God » pleased to choose bitn 
for liberation. 

Tlie study of the VedSnta produces only book- 

v learning and does not bring about 

oJ^JtaSht 4 HBeiBliw. It is true, as the Upani- 

stantrfn.etnlft.noe fr ^fa Bav t j^t liberation is brought 

devotion. ■ n 

about by knowledge. But that 
real knowledge is not a" verbal knowledge of scriptures ; 
for then everyone _wlio reads them would be liberated.: 
at once. Real knowledge is a steady, constant remem- 
brance of Clod (dhruva snirti). This is variously 
described as meditation (dhyana), prayer (upasawa)* 
devotion (bhakti). 1 Constant meditation on God as 
the dearesf object of love; should be practised conti- 
nuously along with the performance of the obligatory 
rituals which remove the obstacles to knowledge. 
Intense remembrance of God, or dVvotion tbua prac- 
^ „ „ tiscd, ultimately matures Into an 

brJSTSSL. inTC "»»'ediate knowledge (dars'ana or 

medial knowle-'sfo or saksatkarai of God. This is, there- 

• fore, the final means to liberation. 

This brings about the destruction of all ignorance $nd 

karmns by which the body is caused. Therefore^ the 

soul that realizes God is 1 i berated from the body for 

ever,* without any chauce of rebirth. We should 

reinembcs, however, that liberation cannot he attained 

simply by* human efforts. God, plea bed by devotion, 

helps the devotee • to ■ attain perfect knowjedge by 

1 " Ato...dbyauopl»anadi-£nbda-va(7arL jA&nani ; " " vtdanam upi- 
BMiam aval;" "ujjasanVparyayatvat bbnkti-ft>bda*ya," SriVhSsya, 1.1,1. 


removing obstacles. God* lifts from bondage and 

God's help i. necoa- miserV the man who flin g8 himself 

»ry for liberation. a f the mercy of God and constantly 

remembers Him as the only object of love. 

Liberation is not the soul's becoming identical with 
God. The liberated soul having 


Tie liberated eoul is pure cofisciou'snesH.. untainted' by 
Kke God, not identical . , ,. J ., . 

with God. any imperfection, oecomes, in this, 

respect, similar to God (brahma-- 

prakara). This similarity of nature is what is meant 

.by the Upanisads whi<-h sny that .the liberated soul 

attains unity with God. 1 

We saw previously that according to the unqualified 

monism of Sankara, the highest good 
Conclusion. , , . , 

lies in a complete demal of the 

separate self and the realization of its unity with 
God. The religious' sentiment of the monist attains 
full satisfaction by total self-effacement which leaves 
nothing but God, Vhe sole, self-shining Reality. But 
for the fheist, like Ramanuja, this 'is a dismal pros- 
pect. The highest satisfaction of the religious emotion 
demands no doubt self-purification and self-surrender, 
but not complete self-effacement. The highest good 
for the devotee is the pure and constant contemplation 
of the infinite glory of God, and the liberated one 
needs his self if only for the enjoyment of this highest 
bliss. Free from ignorance and bondage of every kind, 
the liberated soul enjoys, in perfect love and wisdom}' 
infinite joy born of complete communion with God.* 

1 "Jfianaikakarr aya Brabraa-prakaralft ncyate." Srlbhafya, |i. 71 
(It. V. A Co. edition). 

* Ibid., *th Pada of 41 h Adhyiya, patsim, 


Abbiva (non-ciiatence), 44. 277/, 374f. 

Abhidharma, 176 

Absolute, 403-404, 432f. 

AciriHga-mra, 123, 124 

Adhjiwi, ^24f., 430 

Adr?*», 18, 70. 244f., 282f., 356 

Advajla, 420 

Adtsaitaiidihi, 20Yfc 428 

Abaikara, 309r., 8i4, 424, 485 

Abitbsa (non-violence), 85, 122-23, 348 

XkaSa, 29, 41, 70. 104, 111, 232r., 260f., 313, 425, passim 

Ak«apada, 187 

ilayavijaina, 1,72 

AJexanfcr, 8., 107 

Amitabha, 182 

Analogy, 367f. 

Anartavada, 158 

Anek&ntavSda, 85, 99f. 

Ahguttara-nikaya, 142 

Anirudd'lia, Vftfi, 2S)0, 2W3, 206, 303, 307. 322, 324, passim 

Anseliu. 250 

Antj-tlieistic"Argum-nlM, 251F., 329f. 

Anupalabdhi (noa-percepliuni, 54, 31b. 374f., 46; 

Jnviksiki, 187 

Apiiria, 382f. 

Srainbha-vid* , 294 

Aristotle. 222, 260,357 

Artbapatti, 53 316, 3721.. 455 

Srya-satva. 16, 33f.. 134f. 

Asib^a, 172 • ' 

Aisatkarya vada, 294f. 

Afcka, 177 

iatika, <i, 8 

Astikaja, 1041. 

.Wi, 291 

Asvaghosa, 1K4 

Atheism 73, 125f., 291f., 330 

Atomic theory 2Glf., -J81f., 381 

Authority, 8-11. 247f., 368f., 378 

Bicbirayapa, 397, 412, 420 

Barua, B. M., A History oj Pre-Buddhistic /ridtan Philosophy. 130 

Ba»sen<3ine, M., 152 

Berpsoo, H., 140, 4111 » 

Btjkelejt 98, 175 

Bhadrababu, A'olposfifro, 83 

Bhaawadgila, 28, 248; 467- 

ChSfBfariccheda, 18G, 210. 219, 228, 230, 272, paisiro 

Bhojaraja, Vrlti, 336, 839, 341, 353 

Bodhicttta, 180 . 

Bodbissttva, UOf. ' 

Body, gtoii and subtle, 314, 426, 454 


490 INDEX 

Bondage, 115f.. 343. 452f., 479f. 

Boodin, J. B., 08, 473 

Bradley, P. H., Principles of Logic , 221 ; Appearance and Reality, 45-1 

Brahma, N. K., 7%* Philosophy of Hindu SSdhana, 334 

Brahman, 69, 405f. ; sagujja, 442fp; nirguna, 445f, 449f. ; four aspects 

of, 451 
Brahmajalasutra, 134, 136. 162 
Brahma-sutra, 13, 54, 397, 412, passim 
Brahma, 26, 2c4f. 

Brhadaranyaka, 248, 396. 406, 408, 410, passim 
Brhaspati, 64 

Brhaspati-sutTa, 74 ' 

Buddha, 131 ; amitabha, 182; anti-metaphysical, 1^1; as God. 181; 

enlightenment, 136; silence, 135, 168f., 465 
Buddhacarita, 16* 
Buddhi, 18!), 196, 266. 304, 308f. 

Caird, E., The Critical Philosophy of Kant, 249; The Evolution of 

tfheology in the Greek Philosophers, 418 " 

Carvaka, 27. 63f., 85, 212, 23a 803, 352 ; susiksita and dhurta, 78 
Causation. 67, 137, 152, 259r , 293f., 3.S2, 428 
Ch&ndogya, 396, 406, 411, passim 
Chatterjee, S. C, The Nyaya Theory of knowledge, 202, 204, 210, 216, 

&22, 227, 319, 321 
Cbatterji, J. C, The Hindu lleaHsm, 256 
Citsukhi, 428 

Comparison, see Upmnana r 

Concentration, 149r., 341f., 352 
Consciousness, 71f. 85f., 10tf.. KM, 159, 174, 233,304.381,406, 432, 

Contemporary American Philosophy, 17 
Coster, G-, Yoga and Western Psychology, 384, 335, 358 
Cr.ation, 2Hlf., 355f., 420f. 

Daraana (philo ophy) , 2, 9 

Darwin, 24. 140 

Eas, R., The Essentials of Advaitism, 394 

Das, 8. K.. A Study of the Vedanta. 394 

Dasgupta, S. N., History of Indian Philosophy, 290, 890; The Study of 

Patailjali. 334 ; Ynya as Philosophy and Ue'igion, 381 
Daltu, O. M., The Si} Ways of Knowing, 367, 370, 372, 370, 450 
Deism, 244, 416 
Descartes, J07, 111 
'destruction (pralaya), 281f., 431 
Dedssen, I'., The Philosophy of th-e Bpanisads, 391 
Dbamma, 153f., 169 
Dhammapada, 130, 155 
Dharmakaya, 182 
Dharmakirti, 170 
Dharmamcgha, 346 

Dialogues of the Buddha, 134, 136, passim 
Digambf.ra, 84 , 
Dighanikaya, 136, 146 i» 
Dignaga, 172 
Dream, 466f. 

Dreamless sleep! 340, 409, 456f., 486 
<-Dnty,61f., 871, 387f. 

INDEX 491 

Eaton, B. M., General Legit, 215, 222 
Eightfold Noble Path, 145f. • 

"Encyclopagdto Britannica, 203 
Epicureans, 77 

Error, 197f., 378f., 436f., 472f. 
Evolution, 45f., 307f., 414 

Fallacy (hetvabbasa), 221f. 

Fatalism, 18 

Four Nobje. Truths, 16, 33-35, I34f^ « 

Free Will. 18 

Functional Realism, 473, 

Ganged, Tattvd'^ntamani, 188, 200, 216, 281 
Gautjapada, 109, Vahkhyo'karthabhdsya. 292, 328 
Gautama (or Gotama). 37, 187 
Ghate, Tlie Vedinta, 394,481 

God. 28, 32, 89f., 72f , 125F., I70f., 2i0f., 32*f., 3531., 387f., 400f„ 410f.. 

Green, Prolegomena to Ethics, 452 
Guna (guality), 100f., 265f., 29fif., 368 
Guoaratna, 87, 91, 94, 99, 103, 106, 108-14, ]18 

Haribhadra, ?ad<larSanaisamuc':aya, G2, 64, 82, HI, A\, 113, 241 

Harihifrarmnda-Aranya. Pitailjala Yoyo-liars' ana, 334 ' 

Heaven aud hell, 73f., JJ89 

Hedonixm,J4f., 7Hf. 

Hegel, 357, 416, 126 

Uernarandra, 87 

Henotheism, ItX)/. 

Hihbert Joui/ial, 144, 16'J 

Hiuayana. 36f., 132f., 163. 17til. . 

lliriyamia, M., Outlines o/ Indian Philosophy, 240, 394 

Hoffdiug, H., The Philosophy of Ileligion, is 

Hutue, Dr., Tie 'Hiirteen Principal Vpanifads, 3l>4 

Huxley, Aldous, Ends and Mean*, 2 

Hypothesis, 374 

.Identity, 3'.W. 4f>3£., 479f. 

Ignorant* (ajfiana.avidya, avivckal, 19,39, 55f., 119, 139f., 323,*421f. t 

455, 480 
Illusion, 421f..473f. 
Immanence, 4U2, 417, 144 
Immortality, # 405f. 

Indeterminable questions (avyakatani), 135 
Indriya,22, 201f.,312f.,381 * 

inflection, 66f., 2l2f., 216 
Inference, 65f .,' 89f., 206f., 819f., 36"i, 375, 455 
Inherence (samavaya., ^75 

Jacobi, H.. the Jaina Sutras, 82, 83, 123 

Jaimini, 50, 63, 360 . ' 

Jotmini-sutra, 362, 363, 869, 370, pattim 
Maim, J., Outline* of Jainism , 272 , J 

James, W.. 17, 158 ; Pragmatism, 17, "*8, 469, 470 ; Principles ef Psycho- 
logy, 325 i 

Janet, P., €inal Cautu, 243 

492 INDEX 

Jataka, 182 

Jayanta, Nyiyomafljati, 188, 236 

JfBDS, J. H , 24 

Jh&, Gangana,th, Kyiya-tulras, 1B6 ; PadfirtKodhflrmntanproJia, 356 ; 

Mimo»hsfl-»<ifra o/ Jat'iro'm, 360; Prabhakara School of Pima 

Mlmimsa, 360; Sloka-vMtika , 360, 391 
Jina, 29, 63 
Jivanmuktiand videhaiuukfi, 47. 32tf, 464f. 

Kalpa,284 - , c 

Kama-sutra (of Vatsyayana), 62, 75, 78-79 

Kanada,12, 40. 257, 277 

Kant, 246, 249, 357, 388, 419 

Kaptla, 44, 291 

Karma, 17f., 31, 115f., 154f.. 269f., 381 465F., 4S5f. 

Hatha, S37, 396, 4t7,.410f. 

KausxtaH. 248 

Keitb.A. B., Indian Logic and Atomism, 9fl6; The Simhhya System, 

<290; Karma Mimimsa, 360 
Kef.w, 446 i 

Khandana-Khun/jaKhadya, 428 
Knowledge, theoiy of, 64f., H5f., 195f.. 315f., 862f., knowledge of, 386; 

of selfr236f , 384f. ; truth of, 376f., 47/2 
Kraqae, 417 
Knmarih, 53, 860, 362, 365, 381 

Lassuaga, logical analysis of. 229f., 321, 868f. 

Lahk&vat&ra, 166, 172 

Lwbniz, 357 

Liberation (raukti), 19. 23. if, 55, 74f.. 118f., 141f., 223f., 822f,, 342f., 

389f.,462f ,479f., passim 
Locke, J„ 111. 175 
Lokfijatika, 64 t 
Lot*', H., Outlines of a Philosophy of Religion, 243, 249f., 419 

Mackenzie, J., "Hindu Ethics, 123 

Madhavac&rya, Satva-dariana-sahgraha.i, 62, 64,103, 110, 164, 166, 

* 172, 210, 243, 2S1, 256, 377 
Madhva, 379 

MadJlyaroika, 35, 162-63, 164f. 
Mahanidana-sutta, 154 
Mahavofinirvana-stitTa, 155 
Mahavira.29. 83 

Mahayana,'36f., 182f., 161, 163. 176f. 
frajjhimanikaya, 135. 142-43, 145, 14« 
Majlimdar, A. K., The Sahkhya Conception of Personally, 290, 328, 

Malllsena, Syadvadamailjari, 82, 69, 102. 104, 107, 125 
Maria* fmind), 41, 201, 264f., 3l0f. 
Martineau, J , A Study of Religion. 244 
Materialism, 63F.. 70f 
Matter. 110f.,116f. 470f. 

Max Miiller, 391, 400: The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, 390 
Mayi, 57f.,421,423f..4«)f.,446f., 472f. 
MeTaggart, The Nature of Existence, 432 
Meditation (dby&oal, 20, 344f, 351, 487 
, Milinda, 145 

INDEX . 45)3 

Mtlindapanha, 146, 159 

Moinentariness (kaaijika-vada), Tfilt., ISSf. 

Monotheism, 401 

Moore, &, E., 175 

Moral order, 16, 18, 281f. 

Muydaka, 4061. 

Mysticism, 161f., 357 

N&garjuna, Madhyamiha iastra or JcariH, 764. 166-68, 190 SI 
Nagaswrs, 145 " 

Naturalism, 73 
Nature, 24 ' 

NeroMaiidra. /)M»jo«flftgroft«,82, 104, 107, 113, 121-29 126 
Nidftna, 139f . | 
Nihilism, 416 ; see Madhyamika 
Nimharka, 379 
.Nirvaipa, 135, 141-45, 16ST, 190, 217, 226-29, 232. 235, 240 
NySya-varttika, ISS, 222, 231 
Nyaya-tarttikGt&tparyatlka, 1S8. 196, 20^ 
Nyiym vi'ttika-titp'irija-pariiuddhi, 188 

One Hundred 1 and Eight Upanitads. 391 
Optimism. 10-18 

Padartba, 189f., 258f. 
Palmer, <j. H , 17 
I'afionkaianI, 212 
Pafiramabavrata, 122f. 
Paficaprana, 312 
Paficafliklia, 291 
Parjrasila, 122 
Pafiuaskandha, 159 
Paficlkarana, 126 
Pftnentheisni, 403, 417-18 
Panihrisiu, 391, 403,417-1? 
Farirjama-vnda, 2 6,424 

Parsons, Jj. M , Everyday Science, 25 

PtkTsvanatha. 83 - 

Paryaya.lCOf ,113 

Patafljali, 48, 335. 350 

Perception, 64f, 80f., I99f., 315f.. 363f. 

Perry, R. » , Vhilonophy of the tittent Patt, 18 

Pessimism, 16 136 

Plato, 107,357 

Polytheism, 31ir.,4fKif.' 

PotthapSda Sulta, 185, 150, 156 

rrebbikara, 52. 362, 365 

PrabhSkora-tijaya, 381 * 

Pragmatism, 369 

Prakarana-patteiki, 365-67. 372, 879, 382-86, 388 92 

PjrokataHha, 257 

PrameyakamalamHrtahda, SO, 98, 125, 227 

Praeastapadn, Padirtha-4harmatah^aha, 2.14, 256, 272-75, 281, 285 

Profna, 239 

PraHtyajsan^tpada, 137, 153 

494 INDEX 

Protagoras, 98 
Psychical Research, 357 
Psycho-analysis, 367 
Purana, 25, 285, 337, 471 
Pjrrho, 98 

Radhakrishnaa, 8., 144, 1W\ Indian Philosophy, 1C>, 63, 186, 290. 36Q, 

394, passim 
Bamanuja, 56, 412, 424; world, 170f.; roayS, 472; illusion, 47Sf ; 

God, 476f. ; self. 4791.; bondage and liberation, 479f. ; Stibhanya 

471-72, 477f., 486-88,'pauim "« » 

Ranade, E. D., A Constructive Survey of lipanitadic Philosophy, 394 
Rao, P. Nagaraja, The Schools of Vedanta, 807 *■ 
ftatnfprabha, 257 
Ii&vana, 257 

Recognition (pratyafchijnal, 206 
p Relations, 275f. 
P Rbys Davids, Dialogues of the Buddha, 130; 134-35, 143, 145, 152, 154; 

Rhm Davids, Mrs , Buddhism, 130, 137 ; Buddhist Psychology, 159 
Ritualism, 61, 361f., 369f., 407, 463, 486' 
Qg-veda, 399f. 
R^abhadeva, 83 
Rta, 17, 400 
•RosseS, B., The Problems of Philosophy, 273 

Sabara-bhasya, 360, 8C2, 366, passim 
Sama-Mla-phala-sutta , 144 
. fiarbjoga, 266-67, 307f. 
Saihyuttamkaya. 135, 153, 159 
Sarikara, 60. 412f v ; world, 420f., 427f., 439f. ; rnaya, 423f. ; error, 13fif ; 

God,.442f. ; self 452f ; bondage, 455f. ; liberation 40(if. 
Sahkarabhtsya, 396, 4'.'l-28, 429, 431 , 41,'), 446, passim 
Sahkhya-karikf, 13, 232f . 296,803,307,309. passim ' , 
Sdnkhya kariks^hasija.. 292, 298 

Sahkhya-pravacana-'bliastia, 292, 293, 296, 298, 3f 18-09, 814. passim 
SShkhya-praracana-sutra, 291 

SSnkAyasutra, 291, 308, 309-12, 314, 322, 324-28, pauiin 
Sintarakflita, Tattvasahgraha, 172 
Saptapaf.arthi, 257 

Sarkar, M. N., The System of Vedintic Thought and Culture, 394 
Sastradipika, 227, 360, 363, 364, 366, 370. 872, 375, 379, passim 
SS'stfj, K-, The Introduction to Advaita Philosophy, 391 
SlstrT. V., Introduction to the Puma tfimamsa, 360 890 
Sastrl, S. The Sahhhya-Karika of Urarakjsna, 290 
Satkarya-vada, 293f, 424 f. 
Schiller. F. G. 8., 97, 98 
Schopenhauer, 405 
Schrodinger, 473 

Seal, B. N., 3 ; The Positive Sciences' oj the Ancient Hindus, 186, 207 
Self (or Soul), fclf., 106f„ 156f„ 233f., 263f., 30Sf., 341f., 383f . 40W., 

452f. , 479f. passim t b 
Shastri.D.M Short Hisibry of*Ind-an Materialism, 62; Chan&ka- 

Shashtf,62 ' 

< Siddhaniamuktavali, 186, 200-01, 207, 210,216, 219, £28, 285, passim 

INDEX 495 

Siddhaaeua Div&kara, Nyatjavat&ia, 89, 91, 109; Nyayavat&ra-vivrti, 89, 
* • 91 f 

BfifcA-B, *43, 148 
Similarity, 366-6ri 
Sinhft, N., The Vaisesika Sutra 8/ Kanada, 256; The Samkhya 

Philosophy, 290 
Six Buddhist Nyaya Tracts, 272 
Mokavarttika, 360, 366, 370, 37a 377, 331, 381 
SocratesAl s • 

Sogen, Tc, Syttems of liuidhistic Tiiought. 13"), 115, 155, 162-61, 107, 

Sonadanilq-suitar, 151 
Sphota. 37M * 

Spinoza. 357 ,391, A 6, 150 
driJhara, Nyayakondali, 25(5-57, 281 
Stace, W. T.. A Critical Fiixory of Greek Philosophy, 15 
tttclierbatskjr, The Cenlra' Conception of Buddhism, 130, 163 
Stubbing L S>, A Sfodern Introduction to Logic, 220 
Stevenson, S., The ttnart of Jamjsm, 82. 83 
Htoul, d. F , A Manual nf Psychology. 203 
Substance, 401 , 10i)f., I59f. 
Supernormal powers, 336, 352f. 
Sulrakrtahga, 123 • 

Sutra- fitaka, 171 

Suzuki, D. V., Outline* of Mahayana Buddhion, 130, 159, 1«7, 179f. 
Svt-tamb:tri\, S4 
Sretaieatdra, 24*. 337, 421 , 1*1, 4-25, 171, passim 

T,nUiriya 3%, 40'.i, 42s, 113 , 

Tarltabhaia, I!)(i, 2'il>. -3J1, 210. 21S, -Aftl, -2.'i7, 95'.l, '2(55, SfisJ, '272 
Tarkakaumudi 337,-256 
TrtrAdnirfa, 25fi. 2511, 269. 272 , 

Tarkasahgraha. 210. 217-1:). 221. 226-3ti, 233, 25i(, passim 
Tarkikara ksa ,. 228* 
Talhagatu. Ififi 
Taiiradlpika, 186, 21S, 227 

raHrafcfliimu<li, 227, 2112-93. 291'., 3i)3u7, 313, passim 
Tattrapradipilu, 12* 
Tattvuriha-rajn torttika, II I 
TaltracaiJaradl. 335 
T/if .%'«•«■ HtaUsm, 93 
T/ic P/ii/osop/iiocii llirii'u, 173 
Th. ism, 344 .•285. SOSf.- 4S I, 4711 
Tbibaut, (.»., T/;« Veilanta-»«tra.i, 3'.H 
Thillv. F., Wi**«ij o/ Philosophy, *S 
Tifek, B. G., GHarahasyS, 467 
TlrtfaBflknra. 21). 31-33, 83. Hn-20 
TrifM'(d*a, 132 . 

, TriMlng, 129 ' * 

Trivrtkarana, 471 

Truth, IMS, 372, 876f v 447. 172 • 
'lVuer, J. K., A Theory o'f Direct ilealism, 176 

Udayana, Kuiuminjali, 186, 188, 24l.tf43, 2&*7, 25],, 281 ; Kirandvali 

257 , 

UwdavSipI, 'iattvdtthaiihiganw-iutra. 82, B 7, 106-U7, it 0-11, 117, 120 
Uuivereal, 27U. 

496 INDEX 

Opidhi, 67f.,212f.,44S 

Urqnbart, W. S„ The Vedtnta and Modern Thought, 894 

Vacaapati, 188, 292, 310, 314-18, 335 
Vaibha$ika, 36, 162, 175f. * 

Vaiiesika-sutra, 240, 257, 250. 265, 269, passim 
Valubha, 397 

VallsbhacSrya, NydyalUdvati, 204, 256, 273, passim 
Vardhamana, 29. 83 ■■> 
Vasubandha, 172 

Vitaya.jam.Nyiya.bhasyd, 188-91, 204. 216-17, 226-28, 282. passim 
Veda, 9, 12, 361, 362,;368f., 387f., 395f„ S99f., 416 
Vedaata-dipa, 471 

Vedanlaparibhasa, 186, 204, 210, 227, 272, 375 
Vedanta-sara, 303, 571 
- VedantasutTc, ste Brahma-sutra ■. 

Vi;fianabhik8 U , 292, 310, 31-1 18, 330, 385 ' 
Vijnana-vada, 171f., 175 
Vi«i\frdreita, 470 
Visnu-purana, 2-5 
Piiuddhi-magga, 153 
ViSyanatha^ 186, 259 
Vivartavada, 296, 424 

Vive&na/ida Svftmi, 467, 409 : Practical Vtdanta. 467 
Vyapti, 3*i, 66, 2l0f. 
Vy&sa-bhatfia, nee Yoyabhasya 

Ward, J., article "Psychology," 21)3: Psychological Principles, 325 ; 

Realm of Ends, 479 
Warren H. C, Buddhism in Translations, 131, 149, 158 
Whitehead, A.N. ^ 98, 418 
Woodwortb, R. B-, Psychology, 20J 
Wuudt, Human anil Animal Psychotojy, 203 

Yajfiavalkya, 40f> 

Vaiodbata, 79 

Yoga, nature and form* of, 342 f. : eightfold menus cf, 317f. 

Yoga bhdsya 318, 334, 335-36, 340-42. 346 47, 353 

Yoficftra, 35, 162-64, lC9f. 

Yoga-matfiprabha. 335 

Yoganga,-4flf.. 347f. 

Yoga-sSra-sahgraha, 335 

Yogasutra, M8, 334-35, 339, 311-42, 346-47, 353 

Yo%a-t&rttika, 335 

* ' w6rks by the same au thors 

The Ny3ya Theory of Knowledge: A critical 
study of some problems of Logic and -Metaphysics. 
By S. i. Chatterjee, M.A., 'Ph.D. (Published by the 
University of Calcutta.) 

Opinions , 


" Professor Chatterjee's book which its full, thorough 

and clear is a model of philosophical writing . . . ." 

—Projesscr G. E. M. Joad. 

" The author has rendered a very substantial service 
to the study of Indian philosophy by his careful 
exposition of the essential Nynya doctrines .. : . the 
most effective way of making Indian philosophy a real 
and living factor in present-day metaphyseal theory.'* 

—ProfcssoTtA. B. Kcilh. 

" a clew, (joraprelieueive and objective account of" 
the Nyiya theory of knowledge." 

— The New Review*. 

" The hook reveals a logic and a theory of percep- 
tion which appear to be worked out in much' mote 
detail than those who have been taught to believe that, 
Indian philosophy is a thorough -going mysticism 
determined by purely religious considerations would be 
likely \o suspect. "i . 

— Philosophical Review. 
. • " Dr. Chatterjee's book is as bcholarl.) as Suali'6 
Introdutionc alio Studio de'Ja Fdobofia .Indiana, and 


itt has the novel feature of being the fir&jfc systei! 

critical and c< 


critical and comparative -teatment ol the BTyaya 

— Philosophy, 

' 5The Six Ways of Knowing: A critical study of 
the Vedanta'Theory of Kwwledge. *By D. Nfc. Datta, 
M. A., Ph.D. (Published by George Allen & Unwin 
Ltd. London.) 


lS '" A work ol veiy wide scholarship ... a very 
important work not ouly for philosophy, but for the 
unipn of the two civilizations." 

—Projehsor J. H. Munhead. 

" There are, I am conetrairjed to believe, very few 
scholars, east and west, so well equipped for this task 
as Dr. Datta v 1 can think of no Western Sanskntists 
who fcive anything 8 like his acquaintance with on- 
temporary British and American philosophy ; , . . 'In 
the light of this wide reading, he defends most of the 
positions of the Vedanta with surprising effectiveness. " 
—Professor J B. Pral, Jour, oj Philosophy. 

" . ... rare thing . . . and thoroughly competent." 

— Philosophy. 

. . . admirable work ... a brjdge between the 

systems of East and West." 

— Philosophical Review. 
"... suggestions of genuine philosophical value../',